Officials of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) have sealed some religious houses in the metropolis for noise pollution and disruption of peace within their vicinity.
A statement released by the state government said the churches and mosques shutdown by its officials were in commemoration of the 2019 United Nations International Day of Tolerance.
Some of the facilities sealed are located at 68, Old Otta Rd, Orile Agege; 4, Ademola Oshinowo, Off Loveall Street, Ketu; Dele Amuda Street, Lekki;17, Ajileye Street, Ilaje Bariga; 39, Kusenla Road, Elegushi; Ajayi Bembe Street, Abule Oja, Yaba, among others.
According to General Manager of LASEPA, Mrs Dolapo Fasawe, there is no hiding place for any religious organisation that cannot operate within the ambit of the law, regardless of their faith inclinations.
She said that mutual respect of views, culture and religion, which the annual Tolerance Day celebration symbolises across the world, must be adhered to by all residents of the State, particularly religious organisations that should be the bastion of good conduct, tolerance, brotherliness and godly neighbourliness.
Mrs Fasawe maintained that the government will not condone infringements on the rights of other residents of the State in the name of religious activities.
She assured residents that LASEPA will not rest on its oars in bequeathing a noiseless city to all inhabitants of the state, stressing that those recalcitrant organisations or worship centres, known to be disturbing the peace of residents, will face the full wrath of the law.
Recalling the inundating petitions and outcry from residents of the State over the insensitivity and intolerance of some religious outlets in different areas, the LASEPA boss regrettably noted that several warnings issued to the management of these churches and mosques had not yielded the expected result.
“The government recognises that the state thrives on peaceful co-existence among practitioners of the major religions across the State, but of great concern to the State Government is the need for religious activities to be conducted in a manner that worshippers and citizens would not infringe on each other’s rights”, she said.
According to the LASEPA chief, the illegal and unauthorised conversion of residential property for religious use without recourse to the wellbeing of other residents and the State of the environment is of great concern to the present administration.
Speaking further, on the sealed worship centres, Mrs Fasawe explained that for the facilities to reopen, the leaders of these organisations must reach an agreement of compliance with the Agency and also satisfy other necessary conditions as may be prescribed by LASEPA.
The General Manager, however, warned ownership and management of any sealed property to desist from unsealing same without government approval to avoid severe sanctions.
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