Ambode Moves Against Churches, Closes Down 55 Worship Centres In Lagos

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode has thought his government’s agency, the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), on Wednesday, shut no fewer than 55 Churches in three weeks in the state, alleging “noise pollution”.

27 of the Churches were closed on Wednesday alone.

An industry, Mopson Pharmaceuticals Industry, located on Osolo Way was also sealed.

Mopson Pharmaceuticals, according to the agency, was shut for disobeying rules guiding environmental pollution.

Officials of the agency had alleged that the company was in the habit of discharging untreated waste water into the environment.

An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was mandatory that the waste water gets treated before discharge into the environment, especially in the interest of public health, describing the waste water as toxic and could kill all living organisms in the lagoon.

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According to the official, all the boreholes around are at risk and over time will lead to cancer in human beings, adding that “we have served them several notices on the need for Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) for which they fail to comply.”

Also, the agency closed down Dura Products Industries Nigeria Limited on Sanni Olabode Street, Abule Egba, owned by a retired Group Captain for the same reason.

On Ayilara Street, Surulere, two churches, including The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), God Royal Sanctuary, Lagos Province 3, Zone 15, Area 48 and another on its opposite, Tower of Praise Ministries International, Praise Centre, were shut over noise pollution.

Another worship centre affected was Jesus Our Lord Divine Catholic Prayer Ministry, on 11, Anuoluwapo Street, Ilasamaja, where prayer session was ongoing at about 11.00 a.m.

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It was alleged that apart from the pastor, all the worshipers were pregnant women, nursing mothers and their children.

According to the agency, residents allegedly complained over noise pollution and lack of clarity on activities carried out at the centre.

In Ogba, Thomas Salako Street, a club/hotel, popularly known as Shakara Bar, was closed over noise pollution and illegal siting.

General Manager of LASEPA, Adebola Shabi, vowed the club would never be opened again, saying that all his directives to control noise pollution in the last two years had never been

According to Shabi, Ogba, being a mix of residential and industrial areas, should have a decibel not exceeding 55 at night.

“The noise coming from Shakara is more than 100 decibel and anyone exposed to 115 decibel of noise for about six hours will automatically go

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“That is the kind of risk Shakara poses to the area,” Shabi said.

He disclosed that the closure of 27 religious houses brought the number to 55 that had been sanctioned in the last three weeks.

The general manager, while expressing concern that churches were fond of going back to their old ways after brief compliance, said churches who violate the order would begin to pay fines ranging from N50,000 to N100,000.

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