The Living Faith Church (aka Winners Chapel) has explained why it held a regular service last Sunday (22 March) at its international headquarters in Ota (Ogun State), contrary to state and federal government directives not to do so to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 in the country.
“For avoidance of doubt, as stakeholders and as a responsible organisation, Living Faith Church fully supports and encourages compliance with all initiatives of government to combat the spread of this dreaded virus,” a press statement signed by a Pastor Steve Ogah (Special Assistant to Bishop David Oyedepo) reads.
E further explained that many congregants came to the church largely because they constituted the illiterate members of the church in rural communities who may not have kept up with news of the Corona virus disease on social media and other tech platforms.
“Indeed, the service was devoted entirely to sensitising and mobilising members of the Church regarding the danger of this deadly virus and the need to comply with government directives,” a section of the statement reads, adding that “the Church platform is a most effective way to get people involved in playing their part in terms of prayers and intercessions and not just staying away from Church without knowing what to do.”
The Ogun State government had banned gatherings involving more than 20 people and Lagos pegged all social gatherings to a maximum of 50 persons.
“[Bishop Oyedepo] has since engaged Ogun State Government at the highest level to clarify this issue and any misgivings and reiterated the full support of the church for the State Government’s efforts to ensure public safety, towards curtailing the spread of this deadly virus,” the statement further stated. “He appreciates the opportunity of direct engagement and the understanding of the government. Cooperation to safeguard public safety is not just a moral obligation or civic responsibility; the church also considers it a spiritual duty.”
In complying with government directives, the church says it has shut down all its primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, including Landmark University (Kwara State). Covenant University, also owned by the church and located in Ota, is currently on vacation, so students are off-campus.
“As a responsible and law abiding organisation we wish to state that will ensure compliance with the government directives in all our churches across the state…The Church shall continue to engage all necessary logistics to ensure compliance with government directives and continue to pray for speedy divine intervention to stem this deadly virus.”