Coronavirus: Bishop Oyedepo apologises to Ogun State Government for violating ban
The presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church Worldwide (a.k.a. Winners Chapel), David Oyedepo has apologised to Ogun State Government after flouting the government’s ban on gatherings above 50 people, to hold a Sunday service at the church’s headquarters in Ota.
Last week, Ogun State Government, in its measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, had issued a directive to ban gatherings that bring together 50 people or more, including schools and religious assemblies.
However, it was a different situation in Ota as thousands of congregants worshipped at Winners’ Chapel auditorium in Canaan land, Ota.
Ogun State Government reacted to the incident as the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Governor Dapo Abiodun, Kunle Somorin, described the development as unacceptable.
On Monday, a statement signed by Bishop Oyedepo’s Special Assistant, Pastor Steve Ogah, which was circulated to journalists on Monday by the Special Adviser on Public Communications to Governor Abiodun, Remmy Hazzan, disclosed that Oyedepo had engaged the state government “at the highest level to clarify this issue and any misgivings and reiterated the full support of the church for the State Government’s efforts to ensure public safety, towards curtailing the spread of this deadly virus.”
The government, while expressing concern over the deviant religious leaders, vowed to visit any erring worship centre with the full wrath of the law. It also announced stringent measures by banning gatherings of over 20 people in the state.
The statement, according to Daily Trust, reads: “The attention of the government has been drawn to the fact that some religious organizations conduct service on Friday and Sunday. This is unacceptable.
“Although, the leadership of the religious organisations involved had apologised to the government and people of the State for the overt indiscretion and promised to observe all measures associated with the fight against COVID-19 henceforth, the government wishes to reiterate its commitment to public safety through various measures, including the enforcement of the ban on high-density gatherings.
“Henceforth, any group of more than 20 persons that congregate in the name of any meeting, spiritual or secular shall be visited with the full wrath of the law. The State Task Force has been mandated to ensure full and total compliance.
“COVID-19 is a raging pandemic that is threatening global peace and safety. As a responsible Government, we cannot take chances. The government enjoins all to note that the task of combating the pandemic is a joint one and, once again, seeks cooperation of all stakeholders and the citizenry.”