The General Overseer of one of Nigeria largest Congregations, the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Prophet Temitope Joshua, has barred foreign members from countries where the ebola virus disease has been reported, from visiting the church. Synagogue Church of All Nations is one of Nigeria’s largest congregations with thousands of visitors coming from different parts of the world is search of miracle healing.
Receiving members of the federal government sensitization to his church, Joshua promised to work with the Government to ensure that the disease did not spread into the country saying he would put some measures in place to ensure that people from the already affected countries do not enter Nigeria. One of such measures, he said, is to visit any of the countries when necessary rather than allow their residents come into Nigeria.
He also promised to suspend some of his major Church healing programmes for a few weeks adding, “I am ready to work with you. I love my country and I will be ready to work with you. Even if it is a rumour, there is need to secure our environment to ensure that it is safe.” The Ebola Virus Disease sensitization team led by the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, offered to work with the health team of the church in the areas of technical assistance, medical advice and training to ensure that no victim of the deadly disease comes to the church from any of the affected countries undetected.
In his opening remarks during the interaction which took place at the premises of the Church, Idris said the delegation decided to pay the visit to the Church because of the recognition that the Church is an International Christian Centre whose congregation comprise of people from all over the world including the countries of the West African sub-Region which have already been affected by the Ebola disease.
He said the visit is one the Government’s strategy of sensitizing faith-based organizations on the need to cooperate with the government to prevent the spread of the disease in the country by educating their adherents to escalate health issues to medical experts. Pointing out that the Federal and the Lagos State Government are working hard on how to prevent a spread of the virus into the country, Idris said the delegation felt that because the Church has some people from the West African sub-Region as members and because of the influx and population of the congregation there might be need to check and also raise the awareness level on the disease in the church.
“We have our strategies that we intend to share with you. Again we need to know the resources you have here because whether it is one or two cases, if they are allowed to get out, it is a major problem. We are here to work together on how to contain this disease,” the Commissioner told the Cleric. Speaking further on the mission of the delegation, Director of the Centre for Disease Control Professor Abdulsalami Nasidi, said the visit was also both to inform the Synagogue Leader of the deadliness of the Ebola virus and to ensure that it did not escape into the country adding that it had become such a big problem in the subregion that it is already affecting the economies of the countries involved.