Deserted Methodist Church, Oshogbo

...suspend Sunday Services

By Sunday Oguntuyi, Osogbo

Churches in Osogbo the capital of Osun state where shut in compliance with the directive of government that ban all public gatherings including churches and mosques to curb the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic.

Many Churches have suspended their major and weekly activities, including Sunday services, which usually attract thousands of worshippers.

Checks our correspondent revealed that many Christians in Osogbo, the capital of Osun held church services in their respective homes just as some of them embarked on house fellowship to achieve the weekly obligations to their creator.

The state government of Osun had on Saturday announced that all public gatherings in the state under any banner or Organization, are placed on outright ban. The decision according to the state government was a result of the new confirmed cases of covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

This in effect means there should be no church services yesterday.

Our correspondent who monitored the level of compliance of Churches this morning to safeguard the public from spread of COVID-19 discovered that most Churches were closed down for the weekly obligations as to comply with the government directives.

This is in reaction to the increasing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infected individuals, and its gradual spread to other states of the country.

It would be recalled that State Government of Osun had initially announced a ban on public gatherings having 50 or more people.

Yesterday, the Secretary the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji said the government reviewed the position following the announcement of more confirmed cases by the Federal Ministry of Health.

However, last week Friday, most Mosques did not open for worship, as most Muslims observed the prayers in their respective homes.

Some of the Churches visited this morning by our correspondent in Osogbo metropolis include, All Saint Anglican Church, Balogun -Agoro, Osogbo, Methodist Church of Nigeria Diocese of Osogbo, Isale Aro, and Union Baptist Church , Odi-Olowo,Osogbo.

All these Churches were closed down for today’s Church service.

Other Churches that were closed to the worshipers are Winners’ Chapel, Christ Apostolic Church, Oke-Bale, Christ Apostolic Church Latona, and Christ Apostolic Church, Ayetoro and The Holy ghost Power Assembly Worldwide, Mathew Ajala street, Behind GTbank, in Osogbo.

While reacting to the closure of Churches in Osogbo yesterday, Rev, Seun Adeoye, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN)Director of Media posited that Osun state government’s directive to stop church services yesterday came too late to allow full compliance by their members.

He said the initial directive was allowing a minimum of 50 people to congregate and that same notice was fully delivered to Church leaders.

According to him “to issue another directive at the wee hours of Saturday indicates that Osun State Government has another plan that is difficult to explain.”

“And to particularly order churches to stop Sunday services when Mosques across the state opened for early morning prayers is divisive.

“It is hoped that no church where congregants are less than 50 would be victimized by agents of government in this regard. We will keep monitoring things he added.

However, Pastor Israel Oyedele of Methodist Church , Fiwasaye Area, Osogbo in compliance with the state government directives early morning sent a text message to all members of the church on the need to stay indoors and observe the service in their respective homes.

According to the text message which was written in Yoruba language, the man of God informed members of the church that there would not be Sunday service today.