The Ogun State government has said the comparison by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) of churches and markets over the closure of the former is erroneous.
Remmy Hazzan, Special Adviser to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Public Communications, said this in reaction to comments by CAN over the continued closure of churches in the state.
CAN had in a statement issued by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the Special Assistant (Media and Communications) to the President, Rev Supo Ayokunle, on Wednesday, lamented the closure of churches in Lagos and Ogun states, despite the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 approving the reopening of worship centres.
The association said the continued closure of churches while markets are open “is no longer tenable and acceptable”.
But Hazzan said the religious institution’s analogy is not applicable, explaining that markets are in open spaces while churches and mosques are naturally cloistered.
He insisted that the closure of religious centres is in the public interest.
Hazzan said: “We have said it before that comparing markets with churches and mosques is not ideal. The market environment is an open space. The horrible effect is not there and so the use of face masks may just be sufficient. There is still a spike in COVID-19 cases in Ogun and Lagos states.
“Lagos is the epicentre and Ogun State is like New Jersey to New York in the United States; we cannot pretend that this state is completely immune.
“We are not in any way taking any unjustified decision. This is in the interest of the public. In the end, everyone will be back to worship God that we all serve. The public interest is not meant to punish any faith-based organisation or any faith whatsoever.”