T.B Joshua: Lagos Govt Inspects Church Ahead Of Burial
Lagos State Government delegation led by the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi and the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola has paid an inspection visit to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN).
This is to ensure the safety of lives and the facilities in preparation for the funeral of its late founder, Prophet Temitope Joshua.
The inspection, according to the Commissioner, is in line with the third wave mitigation strategy of the Lagos State Government to prevent the importation and spread of new deadly strains of COVID into Lagos and Nigeria.
While acknowledging that the Late Prophet T.B Joshua was a prominent person with large followership from around the world, Abayomi said the funeral rites would expectedly attract people from within and outside Nigeria who will deem it fit to come to pay their last respect to the clergy.
He added that the inspection and meeting with officials of SCOAN are on the directive of the Lagos State Governor who directed that SCOAN be given all the support required to host the funeral programme for its late founder under strict COVID prevention protocol.
Addressing officials of the church, he said: “On behalf of the Lagos State Government we want to offer our deep condolences to the family of the prophet and members of the congregation.
“In these very precarious times that we are in, with a global pandemic that is evolving dynamically; what we now know is that there are different strains of the virus circulating the world, and Lagos State has a very strong third wave prevention strategy.
“The likely cause of a third wave is going to be an importation from visitors who are infected with the virus, so we are particularly careful about working with the Synagogue to make sure that we have a collaboration that will reduce the opportunity to zero of us either importing a virus or even allowing someone positive to interact with the community.
“So we have had series of engagements with the officials and executive of SCOAN, we are also in touch with the Federal Government; the Presidential Steering Committee, and the Federal Ministry of Health.
“And the Incident Commander, Mr. Governor has said that this a priority event and we have to ensure that we give SCOAN all the support it requires to make sure that the series of planned events for the funeral scheduled between the 5th of July to the 11th of July is performed under the strictness guidelines to limit any possibilities of introduction of foreign COVID variants amongst the congregation or the movement of the virus in such an environment that would make transmission easier.
“So, we’ve engaged with several stakeholders, we are looking at the airport, we are looking at the land borders, we are looking at an event preceding the five or seven days of the funeral, we are looking at the funeral activities itself, we have a detailed account of the programme, we are putting some guidelines in place.
“Any visitor coming into the country has to go through the mandatory seven days of isolation plus testing before they can participate in any of the activities. We’ve inspected all the accommodation, we’ve looked at the auditorium and we’ve calculated how to completely eliminate the chance and the risk of infectious transmission,” the Commissioner stated.
Abayomi observed that there are some areas of infection prevention protocols that needed strengthening in the church.
He said: “In collaboration with the Lagos State Safety Commission and the Biosecurity Unit of the Ministry of Health, we’ve seen some areas that need strengthening, we’ve been observing these for some days now and we are strengthening the protocols, so that as events are leading up to the seven days and during the seven days, we will have marshals on the ground, we will have biosecurity experts on the ground, will continuously monitor the situation and work with SCOAN to make sure we can keep this place safe and keep the congregation safe and keep Lagosians safe.”