The Lagos and Ogun State governments have refused to bow to pressures from churches to relax restrictions introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections to allow them to hold crossover vigil to usher in the New Year.
The two states, with a high concentration of headquarters of churches in the country, insisted that the 12am-4am curfew introduced by the federal government, as part of measures to combat COVID-19 remains in place.
They warned that dire consequences await individuals and groups that violate the regulations.
The Ondo State government, which on Tuesday had warned churches against holding any crossover service in the state has also reiterated its warning while assuring the clergy that its decision was not to undermine Christianity but to safeguard public health.
In compliance with the government’s directives, some of the major churches in Ogun and Lagos States, such as The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) and Living Faith Church Worldwide, aka Winners’ Chapel, have adjusted their programmes to conform to the directive.
Already, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged churches to comply with all government regulations to combat the spread of COVID-19 while conducting their crossover services.
CAN, against the backdrop of the controversy between churches and the association on the duration of crossover vigil, had on Tuesday directed its members to end their services by 11pm.
CAN President, Rev Samson Ayokunle, in a statement, had said the advice was necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection.
Amid the defiance of some churches to hold the crossover services today, the Lagos State Government yesterday urged residents to comply with all restrictions imposed by the authorities to curb the spread of the pandemic.