LIVING Faith Church pastor Bishop David Oyedepo defied a government ban on mass gatherings aimed at halting the spread of the dreaded coronavirus and held his usual Sunday service today at his church headquarters in Ogun State.
Although so far Nigeria has not suffered any fatality from the pandemic, there are fears that if one does occur, the problem could spread rapidly, overwhelming the fragile healthcare services. As part of a bid to combat the spread of the virus, the federal government has closed all of Nigeria’s five international airports, shutting the Owerri, Port Harcourt. Kano, Lagos and Abuja facilities.
In addition, gatherings of over 50 people have been banned, churches and mosques have been asked not to shut and all federal academic institutions have been closed. In defiance of the ban, however, Bishop Oyedepo held the usual Sunday service of his church known as Winners Chapel, as did the Dunamis Church International in Abuja.
According to statistics from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, there are 27 cases of the virus in Nigeria, with four in Abuja, 19 in Lagos, two in Ogun and one in Ekiti and Oyo States. This prompted the need to limit the number of people who could worship to 50 and most churches complied with this, including the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Daystar Christian Centre, Mountain of Fires and Miracles Ministries.
However, Bishop Oyedepo, whose headquarters is located in Ota, Ogun State, held a physical service today. Thousands of worshipers gathered in the church auditorium where they sang and prayed to God to stop the plague of the coronavirus in Nigeria and other countries of the world.
Bishop Oyedepo led the congregation in prayers preceding his sermon titled Winning the war against coronavirus. He said: “According to how we have prayed, the siege is over.
“The same way Ebola went away, this is going away. The same God that helped us that time is still alive, he will help us again.”
Also, Dunamis Church International observed a physical service in its 100,000 seater capacity Glory Dome auditorium along Airport Road in Abuja. The church founded and overseen by Paul Enenche and his wife, Becky Enenche, tagged the service Sensitisation Service.