By Toby Prince
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has called for the arrest of the Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church, David Oyedepo, for holding a church service on Sunday despite government’s directive banning large gatherings in the face of the coronavirus.
Im a statement on Wednesday by its president, Yerima Shettima, the forum said it found Oyedepo’s action as “flagrant disobedience” to constituted authority.
“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 a callous violation of the Federal Government’s safety instructions at this critical moment in our history,” the statement read.
“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
“We, therefore, challenge Pastor Oyedepo to tell us if he did not take advantage of his closeness to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in this flagrant disobedience to Nigerian laws and the United Nation’s Charter on the safety of human lives.
“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 the 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.”
Oyedepo had explained that the service held on Sunday was to sensitise congregants of the virus, with the backing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).