he Ogun State Police Command has warned religious leaders against reopening worship centres in defiance of the directive of the state government.
The state government, on Friday, suspended its earlier plan to partially reopen churches and mosques in the state, citing increasing rate of community transmission of coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Dapo Abiodun had two weeks ago hinted at the tentative resumption of religious activities by Friday.
But Abiodun noted that the rising number of COVID-19 cases and dire consequences in loss of human lives do not support the reopening of worship centres, adding that the places of worship represent most potent fertile grounds for the spread of the deadly virus.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the state command had received intelligence reports that some religious leaders were planning to reopen their places of worship in defiance to government directives.
Oyeyemi warned those considering such action to have a rethink or face the wrath of the law.
He disclosed that Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) have been directed to be on surveillance patrol across the state with the view of bringing to justice anybody found disobeying the government’s directives.
He said: “Following the state government’s resolve to postpone the reopening of religious centres across the state indefinitely as a result of increase cases of COVID-19 pandemic, the Ogun State police command has received an intelligence report that some religious leaders are planning to reopen their places of worship in defiance to the state government directives.
“In view of this, the command wishes to appeal to those who have such intention to in their own interests have a rethink because such action will be viewed as deliberately making an attempt to cause the wide spread of the virus in the state.
“As a responsible organisation, constitutionally mandated to maintain peace and order, the police will not fold its hands while some people will be openly flouting the law of the land.
“Therefore, all the Area Commanders, DPOs as well as the Command’s tactical squads have been directed to be on surveillance patrol across the state with the view of bringing to justice anybody found disobeying the government’s directives.
“The fight against COVID-19 should be seen as a collective responsibility of everybody and we should all join hands with government to defeat the virus once and for all.”