Crossover Service: Lagos Govt Insists Large Gatherings Will Not Help

A file photo of the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, Gbenga Omotosho. Photo: [email protected]_omo.

 

The Lagos State government has insisted that gathering in large numbers should be discouraged by residents, especially as it relates to the conduct of crossover service by churches in the state.

It explains that this is necessary to curb the further spread of COVID-19 as the state and Nigeria, in general, begin to see an alarming rise in the number of cases.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, Gbenga Omotosho, stated this in a tweet on Wednesday.

As residents prepare to attend the crossover service, he informs them that it is important to comply with the non-pharmaceutical measures put in place by the government.

According to the commissioner, large gatherings will not help at a time when the government is working hard to stop the disease from spreading further.

He stressed that many churches have advised their members to observe the protocols, despite the clamour for crossover services.

Omotosho warned that the 12am to 4am curfew, imposed by the Federal Government in the heat of the outbreak, remained in force.

 

His tweet came barely one week after the state government directed all churches and mosques to suspend all-night services, including vigils and crossover events in the state.

The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who issued the directive on Thursday last week noted that the emergency required to tame the second wave of COVID-19 would not permit public gatherings and crowding, especially in yuletide when religious centres would be holding services and vigils.

Crossover service, which is also known as watchnight, is conducted annually by churches on December 31 to mark the end of the year and usher in a new one.

On the last day of the year, millions of Christians storm churches for the service which usually starts in the night and ends some minutes, and in some cases, about an hour into the new year.

However, this will not go the usual way this year as a result of the alarming increase in the figures of COVID-19 reported in Nigeria.

In a bid to address the issue, authorities in various states have announced stricter restrictions to curb the spread of the disease after an initial relaxation of the protocols.

Nobody Has Been Licenced To Run Okada Services – Lagos Govt

Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, speaks during an interview on Sunrise Daily on January 28, 2020.

 

 

The Lagos State government says it has not given licence to any person or group to operate commercial services with motorcycles, otherwise known as okada.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Gbenga Omotosho, stated this during his appearance on Sunrise Daily.

“You are talking about registration; as far as I am concern, the government has not registered any company to come and be running okada,” he told Channels Television on Tuesday.

He added, “In fact, what the government was trying to look at is how to regulate these people so that their excesses can be curtailed.

“But as far as I know, nobody has been licenced to go and start running okada because it is unfortunate that … the rate at which people are dying; the rate at which people are being robbed on the roads; the police are worried, everybody is worried.”

He made the comments a day after the government announced that it would enforce the ban on motorcycles and tricycles (also known as keke) on major roads and bridges on February 1.

Omotosho explained that the State Security Council took the decision after a robust assessment of the debate on the rate of accidents in the state.

According to him, the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) recorded about 104,000 accident cases involving the common Lagosians with broken arms and legs.

The commissioner stressed that a large number of those he called the poor people have asked the government to ban okada.

He noted that the areas with the highest figures of fatalities were areas dominated by a large population of poor.

Omotosho, however, said, “The guys who are doing courier services, for example, they don’t carry passengers and they don’t constitute so much danger. So, those ones are allowed.

“They have to be above 200cc and you have to have a box behind you that you are doing courier service and you don’t have to carry passengers; you have to be well-kitted and wear your helmet.”