The Nigeria National Summit Group, has called for the arrest of Bishop David Oyedepo, the founding Pastor of the Living Faith Church, for flouting government ban on large gathering last Sunday, amid ravaging Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
BIGPEN recalls Oyedepo and Founder of Victorious Army International Ministries, Dr. Joseph Agboli, and many others in Lagos, Ogun and Osun States, had defied the restriction directives and held services last Sunday with the usual large crowd in attendance.
However, following the huge backlash and criticism which trailed their action, Oyedepo’s special assistant, Steve Ogah, would later in a statement, claimed the service was to sensitize and mobilize their members over the coronavirus outbreak.
But responding to this, Executive Secretary of NNSG, Mr Tony Uranta who described Bishop Oyedepo as “one of my most respected Nigerian Christian leaders”, in a statement on Wednesday, said that his excuse for disobeying the commonsensical FGN ban on large gatherings gave the Church in Nigeria a very bad image.
He stated that if the virus spread further in the country, Oyedepo would be counted among those responsible for the death resulting from it and inability of government to curtail it.
According to him, “the government should arrest him (Oyedepo) to let the world know that we are taking the Coronavirus threat seriously, and prove to all Nigerians that nobody is above the law, especially in this dire season of the global pandemic!
“Oyedepo’s foolhardy decision has irredeemably belittiled him in one’s eyes, and the FGN will be shirking its primary responsibly of keeping Nigerians secure if the bishop is allowed to get away with this one act.
The firebrand Nigeria’s social critics contended that the action of the clergyman, “must have put, at least, thousands of gullible Nigerians that heeded his call to worship-as-usual in danger, not to even begin to imagine the, at least, tens of thousands of other Nigerians that these ones could make secondary contacts for this scary disease!
“If the government let’s this slide, many of us will be irresistibly opposed to it, and this could lead to the Buhari Administration’s demise faster than a lot of other things should it eventually turn out that Nigerians fall sick or die from the quirky action of one man and the perception of impotence in our country’s security agencies where the elite is concerned”, the statement added.