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BIG STORY

Lagos Govt Seals Churches, Mosques Over Noise Pollution

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, (LASEPA) has clamped down some mosques and churches for persistent environmental pollution and disruption of public peace.

They are located at 68, Old Otta Rd, Orile Agege; 4, Ademola Oshinowo Street Ketu; Dele Amuda Street Lekki; 17, Ajileye Str, Ilaje Bariga; 39, Kusenla Road Elegunshi; Ajayi Bembe Street; Abule-Oja, Yaba among others.

LASEPA General Manager Dr Dolapo Fasawe said there is no hiding place for any religious organization that cannot operate within the ambit of the law, regardless of their faith inclinations.

She said mutual respect of views, culture, and religion must be adhered to by all residents.

Religious organizations, she said, are supposed to be the bastion of good conduct, tolerance, brotherliness, and godly neighborliness.

Dr. Fasawe assured residents that LASEPA will not rest on its oars in bequeathing a livable ambiance to all inhabitants, stressing that those recalcitrant organizations or worship centers are known to be disturbing the peace of Lagosians would face the full wrath of the law.

She maintained that in as much as the State Government is positively disposed to the peaceful conduct of religion of choice by its citizens, it does not condone infringements on the rights of other residents in the name of religious activities.

Recalling the inundating petitions and outcry from residents over the insensitivity and intolerance of some religious outlets in different areas, the LASEPA boss regrettably noted that several warnings issued to the management of these churches and mosques had not yielded the expected result.

“The government recognizes the fact that the state thrives on peaceful co-existence among practitioners of the major religions, but of great concern to the government is the need for religious activities to be conducted in a manner that worshippers and citizens would not infringe on each other’s rights,” she said.

According to her, the illegal and unauthorized conversion of residential properties for religious use without recourse to the wellbeing of other residents is of great concern to the present administration under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Dr. Fasawe explained that for the facilities to be reopened, the leaders of these organizations must reach an agreement of compliance with the agency and also satisfy other necessary conditions as may be prescribed by LASEPA.

She further warned ownership and management of sealed off properties to desist from unsealing the same behind the government as serious consequences awaited such unlawful act.

BIG STORY

COVID-19: SGF Boss Mustapha, Others Attend Church Service, Pray Against Virus

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The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, other government officials and Christian leaders on Sunday attended the interdenominational church prayer service against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The service is the culmination of three days of fasting and prayer organised by the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had asked Christians and Muslims to resort to prayers as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise across the country.

An Islamic prayer was held on Friday in Abuja where special prayers were rendered against the deadly virus.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Oyo Deputy Governor Denied Access To Ajimobi’s 8th Day Fidau Prayer

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There was a mild drama on Sunday at the Oluyole, Ibadan residence of the former governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, when the state deputy governor Rauf Olaniyan was denied access to the eighth-day fidau prayers holding in the compound.

The family had announced the fidau prayer as a private program, urging the public to watch through virtual channels including Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook.

Olaniyan arrived at the residence at about 11:20 am in a convoy of five vehicles. On getting to the gate of the road leading to Ajimobi’s residence, the convoy was stopped by policemen and members of other security agencies manning the gate. They insisted that only the deputy governor’s vehicle could be allowed into the street to join the prayer.

The deputy governor’s security details initially rebuffed the idea but when their argument was degenerating, a senior policeman intervened and they eventually agreed that only the deputy governor’s vehicle should go in.

But on getting to Ajimobi’s house, the gate was also locked. The deputy governor’s aides introduced their principal but they were told that the gate had been locked and that Mrs. Ajimobi was in possession of the key. Olaniyan waited, believing that the issue would be sorted in no time.

After waiting for about 15 minutes, however, without any positive development, Olaniyan left the residence.

Prayers were still ongoing at press time.

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BIG STORY

You Are Incapacitated, Hand Over To Me; Ondo Deputy Gov Tells Akeredolu

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Agboola Ajayi, deputy governor of Ondo state, has asked Rotimi Akeredolu, the governor, to hand over to him.

Akeredolu has been in isolation since Tuesday when he tested positive for COVID-19.

While announcing that he would be going into isolation, the governor appealed to the people to keep safe and observe the safety protocols of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

However, he was silent about transmitting power to his deputy.

When the issue of handing over to the deputy governor was raised at a media briefing on Friday, Donald Ojogho, commissioner for information, said the governor will never allow Ajayi to take control of the state.

“Handing over the governance of the state to Agboola is a non-issue and we are not even considering that. I know as a matter of fact that nobody would want to do that… He (deputy governor) has created an unusual scenario upon which he wanted to climb into the next step in his political ambition and we have seen this as a misadventure. We cannot toil with what we have built over the years. We cannot risk and attempt to hand over to someone who has exhibited the widest scenario of betrayal. So, it is unthinkable,” he had said.

But in a statement on Saturday, Ajayi said he ought to be the acting governor since Akeredolu has been partially incapacitated.

He said the refusal of the governor to allow him to take charge of the state amounts to a “flagrant disregard for the country’s constitution”.

“Section 190 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) is apposite in the prevailing constitutional aberration in Ondo State,” Ajayi said in a statement Allen Sowore, his spokesman, issued on his behalf.

“However, it should be noted, that Mr Governor is at liberty to handover or not within 21 days after which the constitution becomes operational.

“Ostensibly, the refusal and failure of Mr Governor to handover the running of government to his deputy, while he is temporarily incapacitated in self- isolation, underscore his absolute disregard for our nation’s supreme document, 1999 Constitution (as amended) as well as the tenets of rule of law.

“The Governor’s position is a spite on the Ondo State people and a direct assault on the provisions of the constitution which he swore to uphold.

“Governor Akeredolu’s deliberate mounting of obstacles to smooth running of government machinery while he’s in self-isolation as a result of the fact that he has been tested positive for the COVID-19 privileges the hypocritical nature of Ondo State government’s war against the ravaging pandemic.”

Akeredolu and Ajayi have been having a running battle, which reached its height when the deputy governor resigned his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor had fired all the aides attached to Ajayi’s office and his police escort was withdrawn until Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police intervened.

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