The General Overseer of The Citadel Global Community Church, formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, has advised Nigerian churches to be at the fore of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Mr Bakare gave the advice in a recent telecast and revealed that he is donating his church halls as isolation centres.
On May 10, Nigeria recorded 248 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 4,399. Lagos remains the epicentre of the outbreak in the country with 1,845 reported cases.
Mr Bakare also asked his colleagues to also donate their church halls as isolation centres, saying he has done the same with his church’s facilities.
“We have offered two of our facilities to the Lagos State government and a private residence we have in Abeokuta, we have offered also to the Ogun State government,” he revealed.
He also said churches that are capable should also be there to support the government at this trying period.
“I’m not suggesting what we cannot afford to do, we have already done that in our church,” he noted.
Mr Bakare went on to advise that the church should support the government at this time, rather than criticise them for what is beyond their control.
Recently, David Oyedepo of the ‘Living Faith Church’ popularly known Winners’ Chapel questioned the decision of the government to close down churches and leave markets opened, saying that the markets are more crowded.
In the same telecast, Mr Bakare described the criticisms by some of his colleagues as ‘lamentations.’
“This morning, I would like to bring ethical correction to some of the lamentations of certain people within the church over the ban of congregational worship in churches across the land, while markets and hospitals are allowed to operate.
“The government’s order to open the markets to operate for a few days is to prevent hunger, especially in the life of daily earners because the palliatives from the government cannot go to every citizen in their homes right now,” Mr Bakare said.
Meanwhile, another Nigerian pastor, Chris Oyakhilome, also condemned the church lockdown order, while berating other pastors for accepting the order without praying about it first.
He said the government had consulted some pastors before making the decision to ban religious gatherings but the pastors were not prayerful enough to gather other pastors for prayer sessions against the pandemic before consenting to the closure of churches.
“Pastors and ministers have been sending strong warnings to others not to venture into the church because of the virus. That’s because Christ has never truly been your Lord, you’ve been the master of your life all these years. You’ve never truly known him,” he said.