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Lagos Churches Reopen After 20 Weeks Closure, Comply With COVID-19 Guidelines, Low Turnout Recorded [PHOTOS]

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Churches in Lagos State, on Sunday, held services after over four months’ ban on religious gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had last week ordered the reopening of worship centers in the state from Friday, August 7, 2020.

Mosques in the state held Jumat services on Friday, while churches had their services on Sunday.

At some of the churches visited by our correspondents, it was observed that children and the elderly were absent in accordance with the directive of the state government.

It was also observed that worshippers maintained physical distancing, wore face masks, and washed their hands before entering the churches.

At the national headquarters of the RCCG, Abutte-metta, there was a big inscription informing members and visitors to wear facemasks.

Ushers checked the temperature of worshippers, who were instructed to wash their hands and writes their names on a register.

Children below 12 were sent back.

Social distancing rule was maintained in the church and monitored by the Pastor in charge of the parish, Adebayo Adeyemo.

Multiple services were introduced. At 8 am, the first service began with 360 worshippers in a hall meant for thousands. The second service had 44 worshippers in attendance.

The General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, welcomed the reopening of the churches, noting that in the presence of God, there is fullness of joy and healing.

At the Emmanuel Baptist Church, Abule Egba, there was provision for hand-washing at the entrance of the church. Worshipers were also seen with their face masks.

At the Christ Faith Tabernacle International Church, Ogba, the service was held for one hour and a half hours. The church also obeyed the COVID-19 guidelines.

At the CAC Palace of Light and Salvation, Egbeda, a member said the church reduced its services to two.

“Before COVID-19, we used to have three services, but we now hold two services,” she said.

In the Yaba area of the state, members of the Lagos Presbyterian Church were seen with face masks and washing their hands as they entered the church to worship.

Celestial Church of Christ, Archdiocese, National Headquarters, Makoko, Lagos…on Sunday
The church minister, Rev. Chinedu Okoroafor, said, “The management has put every measure in place to comply with the guidelines to curb the spread of the virus in churches.”

At the St. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church, Ejigbo, worshippers’ temperature was checked at the gate, while the use of face masks was enforced.

The ‘no mask, no entrance’ rule was also enforced at the Assemblies of God Church, Jakande Estate, Isolo, while two services were held to maintain the social distancing order.

A member of the church told one of our correspondents that a WhatsApp message was sent to members to ensure that the children and the elderly stayed at home.

Members of the Living Faith Church, aka Winners Chapel, Ikorodu, were seen washing their hands and making use of hand sanitizer on the church premises, where three services were held.

An usher in the church, Dele Goriola, said, “We have a team of compliance men to ensure that members comply with the measures put in place.”

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PHOTOS: Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum, Leads Funeral Prayer Of 43 Farmers Killed By Boko Haram

Peter Okunoren

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Borno state governor, Babagana Umara Zulum on Sunday led the funeral prayer of the 43 farmers that were slaughtered by Boko Haram Insurgents in Zabarmari on Saturday.

The slain farmers who live in Zabarmari, a farming community in Jere Local Government Area, famous for rice cultivation and local processing, were attacked on Saturday, at Koshebe village, a place in Mafa Local Government Area.

The governor during his visit was told that the death toll was yet to be fully ascertained.

“Your Excellency, as you have seen here, 43 corpses were buried, but others have not been retrieved from the scene of the incident. Nobody can tell you the exact number of people killed. Some of the victims are still missing” a resident (name concealed, told the Governor).

Zulum empathized with the bereaved community and hoped for the release of the remaining victims who have been held captive.

“First of all, accept my deepest sympathy over this carnage, once again, that affects all of us and every human with a conscience. I am told some persons are still missing. We have been discussing with the military since yesterday, Insha Allah the remaining people will be traced soon.”

“It is disheartening that more than 40 citizens were slaughtered while they were working in their farmlands.

“Our people are in very difficult situations, they are in two different extreme conditions, on one side they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents.

Governor Zulum says Borno is still appealing to the Federal Government to ensure that safety returns to Borno.

“We are still appealing to the Federal Government to ensure recruitment of more our youths in the CJTF and hunters into the Nigerian military and the Civil Defence so that they can form part of the agro rangers that will protect farmers.

“We need many boots to protect farmlands and our youths understand the terrain. We will not lose hope because we have to remain optimistic about ending the insurgency” Zulum said.

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Buhari Approves Salary Increment For Police

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved salary increment for men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force.

The salary increment, we learnt, cuts across all ranks of the force.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, disclosed this on Thursday during his visit to the Ogun State Police Command.

Adamu’s visit to Ogun State was part of his efforts to boost the morale of police officers after the attack on them during the recent End SARS protest.

While addressing officers of the command, Adamu urged them not to be demoralized by the attacks suffered during the protest.

He charged them not to be afraid of carrying out their duties as a result of the criticisms against them, saying no society survives without the police.

Adamu revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has taken various steps to reform the Nigerian police.

According to him, “The government has approved an extension of health scheme to retired police personnel. The police salary structure has been reviewed upward, affecting all ranks.”

He added further that plans have been concluded for the renovation of police barracks across the nation.

In his words, the State Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, said the IGP’s visit would re-awaken the dampened morale of the police officers in the state.

Ajogun explained that about seven divisional headquarters were vandalized in the state, while the DCO of Atan-Ota division, DSP Ogbeche, lost his life.

He added that the police in Ogun have since returned to their duty posts, saying it is their duty to protect lives and property.

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Nigerians Should Vote Us Out In 2023 If They Are Tired Of Our Faces —- Senate President

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has warned that there could be anarchy if the Senate is scrapped as being clamoured by some Nigerians.

Rather, he challenged those who are not comfortable with the senators in the current 9th Senate to vote them out in 2023 if they don’t like their faces.

Lawan stated this on Friday while declaring open, a retreat for top management staff of the National Assembly and National Assembly Service Commission in Abuja.

He described the Senate as a leveler which ensured that all parts of the country are equally represented unlike the House of Representatives where states with higher populations produce the highest number of lawmakers.

The Senate President also faulted the argument of those clamouring for the scrapping of the Senate because of the perceived jumbo pay being earned by the senators.

He said the annual budget of the National Assembly is less than one percent of the nation’s 2021 budget.

He said, “Without the National Assembly and the legislature across the country, what you have is not a democracy anymore.

“So the value of the legislature and National Assembly to Nigerians is democracy. If you take out the legislature, it might not be a dictatorship but certainly not a democracy.

“So when we always debate on jumbo pay and not the functions of the National Assembly – what we are able to do and what we are not able to do.

“Ask for what you think we should be doing rather than saying close down the Senate or the National Assembly. Do you understand the implications of what would happen if we close the senate? I am not saying because I am in the Senate.

“The Senate is a leveler because, in the House of Representatives, the population is major – that is why some states will have five, six members and others have up to 20.

“So if you say close down the Senate, there will be a day when people will cry foul.

” In the Senate, what Kano produces is what Bayelsa will produce. Three senators in Kano and three senators in Bayelsa, so that stabilizes the system.

“In a budget of N13 trillion, the National Assembly will get about N125bn to N128bn. That is less than 1 percent. So where is the remaining 99 percent?

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