The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum has called for the arrest of the founding Pastor of the Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, for holding church services on Sunday amid government’s ban on large gatherings following the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
In a statement Wednesday, National President of AYCF, Yerima Shettima, said there was no justification for bringing a large crowd of people together in the name of worship at a time of rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We find the attitude of Pastor Oyedepo as above board and wish to declare as follows: There is no justification for bringing a large crowd of people together in the name of worship at a time the greatest number of deaths have been recorded because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is callous violation of the Federal Government’s safety instructions at this critical moment in our history,” he said.
“Pastor Oyedepo has openly shown not only his disdain for the rule of law but also the value of human life. He has chosen to endanger the lives of many of his innocent followers by deliberately refusing to be guided in face of this global pandemic
“He owes this nation full explanation for being the only Nigerian to indulge in creating a gathering of the Ibadan Canaan magnitude when the restriction of movement is respected all over world because of the current pandemic.
“We, therefore, share the view of all prominent Nigerians that this Pastor should be promptly arrested for endangering the lives of innocent Nigerians, recklessly using religion as a cover.”
Shettima added that they hoped that Nigerian security agencies would swing into action to arrest Oyedepo to serve as a deterrent to others.
“It is our conviction, as a group that no one Nigerian regardless of his/her social standing should get away with endangering anyone’s life, using religion as a smokescreen for achieving dangerous goals.”