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‘Closure of churches is no more justifiable’ – CAN.

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The Christian Association of Nigeria on Tuesday kicked against the continued closure of worship centres by some state governments.

The CAN president, Dr Samson Ayokunle, said this in a statement by his Special Assistant (Media and Communications), Adebayo Oladeji. In the statement titled, ‘Reopen all churches now: Enough is enough,’ Ayokunle said there was no more justification for closure of worship centres. The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had at its press briefing on  June 1 ordered the reopening of worship centres. It, however, said state government would take a final decision on the issue and ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety rules. However some state  governments, including Lagos andOgun, which have yet to reopen the worship centres, are insisting that it is not yet safe to do so.

But Ayokunle warned that the  lockdown of   places of worship was no longer acceptable. He regretted that despite the directive given by the PTF on the  re-opening of places of worship nationwide,  states such as Lagos and Ogun had yet to allow worship places, especially churches, to be reopened. The CAN president said, “Despite the directive given by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 with regard to the reopening of places of worship nationwide, some states like Lagos and Ogun have yet to allow worship places. What sin have the places of worship committed? “With the sudden emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, the leadership of CAN at all levels agreed with the government on the need to close down the places of worship, economy, schools and every other facet of life. “But with the reopening of the economy, especially the markets, both organised and the unorganised markets,  along with the plan to reopen airports and schools, the closure of churches anywhere in the country is no longer tenable and acceptable. “In what way are the opened and road side markets more organised than the church which warranted their opening? Is it not our members in the places of worship that do go to markets? Why are they allowed to go to markets and disallowed from going to places of worship? Is it because the marketers cannot contract the virus in the markets and airports?

 

“It is our opinion that while the government and other relevant stakeholders are working hard to get a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic, the church too has a role to play by  seeking  divine solutions as well. CAN appeals to the Lagos, Ogun and other state governments where churches are still under lockdown to relax it for God’s sake.”

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Entertainment

Bruno Fernandes’s penalty hands United a first home win in a match of two penalties

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Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer concedes his side were ‘lucky’ that West Brom had a penalty decision overturned in their 1-0 win at Old Trafford.

 

After a goalless first 45 minutes, Slaven Bilic’s side were awarded a spot-kick early in the second half after referee David Coote ruled that Bruno Fernandes had fouled Conor Gallagher in the box.

 

VAR however intervened with the decision eventually changed after Coote reviewed the incident on the sideline. Replays suggested Fernandes did make some contact with the ball before the man.

 

The Red Devils made the most of the call and were themselves awarded a penalty 10 minutes later which Fernandes tucked away at the second time of asking after his first attempt was saved only for goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to be caught coming of his line.

 

Solskjaer, referencing Aston Villa’s similarly overturned last-minute spot-kick in their 2-1 home defeat to Brighton earlier on Saturday, told BT Sport he thought both penalties should have been awarded.

 

He said: “I looked at the penalty this afternoon at Villa-Brighton, and there’s contact on the ball and the man. In my head, it might be a penalty, and there as well.

 

With this victory, United see themselves in the top half of the table for the first time this seasin with 13 points from 9 games at 8th position.

 

While for West Brom, they remain in the bottom three with only 3 points.

 

United will host Istanbul Basaksehir midweek, while also to play away to Southampton on Sunday.

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