Easter: SW Governors urged to resist CAN pressure to relax lockdown
By Samuele Ogunsona
South West Governors have been urged to resist pressure from a section of Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN) to relax the lockdown for Easter celebration. The Pan Yoruba group, Afenifere warned on Thursday that the Governors will put millions of residents in South West states on the threshold of death if they relax the lockdown on faith consideration.
Irohinoodua learnt that some top officials of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN) have started putting pressure on State Governors to allow Christians celebrate Easter this Sunday. Our source hinted that in the AS States of Lagos, Oyo, Ekiti, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo and Osun States, CAN officials have been sending emissaries to the Governors asking them to relax the lockdown.
The States closed down in the wake of COVID-19 spread. As at Thursday, Nigeria has recorded over 278 cases amidst reports that the number grossly underestimate the actual figure. Apart from the fact that many Nigerians are not going for tests, some experts claim Nigeria will not know the real status of the country until early May.
In a statement on Thursday, Afenifere, the oldest Pan Yoruba group urged Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu not to succumb to pressure to remove the lid on public outing.
The statement signed by Afenifere Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin noted “It has come to our attention that Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu has approved the conduct of Easter Service in Ondo State churches after a meeting with Ondo State CAN.”
He said Afenifere sees Akeredolu as succumbing to blackmail from religious leaders who should know better.
“We are of the view that the religious leaders on their own should have cancelled Easter Service on their own at a time that even the Pope is holding online service on palm Sunday. Since it now appears they are the ones putting pressure on the Governor to put the health of the people in jeopardy, we call on Arakunrin Akeredolu to lead them and not to allow them to mislead him”, Afenifere said. Another Yoruba self determination group, Oodua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC) said lifting the ban temporarily will risk the lives of many Yoruba people.
This is the crescendo of COVID-19. We urge state governors in Yoruba territory never to concede to pressure to relax the lockdown. They will be going against the injunction of God if they do so. God said in Isaiah 26:20 ” Come my people entre thou into my chambers and shot thy doors about thee, hide thyself as it were for a little moment until the indignation be overpast.” ONAC urges Yoruba people at home and abroad to bombard the South West Governors with pressure to ensure the cancellation of any lockdown at the moment.
Odumakin said the organisation is miffed when it heard that Katsina was going to allow Jumat Service on Friday in jeopardy of public health but did not think similar thing would happen in Yorubaland.
“Mr Governor , kindly reconsider the decision.
To all Christians in the state we say :you will celebrate many Easters inside church if Jesus tarries but do everything to keep yourselves alive from this pandemic currently ravaging,”Odumakin said