Following the rising number of confirmed COVID19 cases, the Lagos State government has asked all churches in the state to suspend all-night services, including vigils and crossover services.
As a tradition, Christians across the world usually converge in churches on December 31 at about midnight to pray and usher in the new year.
Speaking to reporters at the State House in Marina, Lagos on December 24, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the curfew imposed by the Federal Government between midnight and 4am daily is still in place and that it doesn’t give room for churches to conduct crossover services.
He appealed to all churches to respect the curfew and have their members pray in their homes.
“There are not meant to be any gathering. The curfew set by the NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control) and the PTF (Presidential Task Force on COVID-19) is still active. There is a national curfew from 12 midnight to 4am and that has to be respected. No night vigils in any form”.
The instructions are there and all of the restrictions are in place as set by the PTF and the Lagos State Safety Commission.
“So, there are no vigils anywhere. This is just one Christmas, we will have many Christmas. So, you can have your prayers at home.”
Speaking further, Governor Sanwo-Olu said:
“All over the world, Christmas period is associated with gathering, merriment and travelling, which all, sadly, contribute to the spread of the virus. We must now seek to minimise as much of these activities as we can, at this time. Let this Christmas be a period of sober reflection.”
“The quicker we are able to tame this raging virus, through responsible behaviour, the higher the likelihood that we will enjoy the year 2021 that is not as restrictive and challenging as 2020.
By acting responsibly, we are not doing only ourselves a favour; we are doing other people a favour as well, especially those among us who are elderly or medically vulnerable.