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COVID-19 LOCKDOWN: Attack on taskforce barbaric —Lagos Govt

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COVID-19 LOCKDOWN: Attack on taskforce barbaric —Lagos Govt

The Lagos State Government on Thursday described an attack on the COVID-19 Task Force by some worshippers at the Agege Central Mosque as barbaric.

It would be recalled that the taskforce was attacked by worshipers at the Agege Central Mosque when the taskforce team approached the mosque to enforce the ban on large gatherings in the state.

The General Manager of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Dr Dolapo Fasawe, in a statement on Thursday said the attack was barbaric and uncalled for.

”Our people are out to protect the residents of the state and yet were attacked for doing their jobs,” Fasawe, who heads the Task Force said.

According to her, the state government would not hesitate to sanction violators, as it would serve as deterrent to others, adding that it was obvious that the gathering did not comply with the directive of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on public gathering and social distancing.

Fasawe further explained that the task force team, comprising of LASEPA, Lagos Safety Commission and the Rapid Response Squad, saw the worshippers observing their evening prayer (Solatul Eshai) in a large congregation, adding that it was contrary to the directive on total lockdown to stem the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

”However, a drama ensued when some of the youths sighted the team and became aggressive, unruly and started to attack the team.

”Others in the mosque, numbering about 300 rushed out chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and joined them in the attack by throwing stones at the vehicles.

Read also: COVID-19: Worshippers attack task-force officials in Lagos for disrupting prayers

”All entreaties to talk to the Imam failed as the youth were persistent. But the Police escort rose to the occasion by curbing further attacks and ensuring the safety of the team,” the team leader said.

She also noted that the agency has been enjoying support and compliance from religious houses and was surprised that the congregation of a mosque that was visited last week could default and also attack government officials trying to enforce compliance.

According to her, the team had visited several places of worship and had been able to enlighten them and advocate the social distancing approach in all gatherings.

”But in this instance, the mosque was filled to capacity. The essence of social distancing is to curtail the spread of Coronavirus. The people are endangering their lives and those of their neighbours,” she said.

She however said that the state government remained committed to protecting all residents, hence would escalate the matter to appropriate quarters because such gathering should not be allowed to continue in the interest of all.

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