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14-day lockdown: Worshippers attack Lagos State Taskforce during prayers

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LAGOS State Taskforce officials were on Tuesday attacked by Muslim worshippers at Agege Central Mosque, while enforcing the lockdown order and ban of public gathering mandated by the Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu.

While speaking about the incident, the General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) and leader of the Taskforce, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe disclosed that the COVID-19 Taskforce team comprising of Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Lagos Safety Commission and the Rapid Response Squad were attacked by Muslim faithfuls who against the order of the governor observed evening prayers in hundreds.

In attempt to disperse the crowd and enforce the law designed to curb the spread of coronavirus in the State, the Taskforce team were attacked.

According to Fasawe, the worshippers numbering up to 300 exited the mosque and attacked the Taskforce team with stones, while chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’. It took the intervention of the police escort to stop the attack and restore some peace.

“A drama ensued when some of the Muslim youths sighted the team and became aggressive, unruly and started to attack the team.

Others in the mosque, numbering about 300 rushed out chanting ALLAHU AKBAR and joined them in the attack by throwing stones at the vehicles.

All entreaties to talk to the Imam failed as the youth were persistent. But the Police escort rose to the occasion by curbing further attacks and ensuring the safety of the team,” she disclosed.

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Fasawe condemned the incident, stating that the Taskforce officials were only doing their job in protecting the citizens against further spread of the virus and meeting a hostile crowd is both dangerous for the people and the officials.

In response, she stated that the State Government will not hesitate to sanction violators to serve as a warning to others, adding that the Muslim worshippers clearly disregarded the order of the governor and endangered their own lives in so doing.

Fasawe also promised to escalate the matter to appropriate quarters because such gathering should not be allowed to continue in the interest of all.

Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked Nigerians to report any case of human rights violation and abuse by security agents enforcing compliance of the of 14-day lock down imposed by the Federal Government to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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Seun DUROJAIYE
Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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