The Lagos State government said it has no plan to license religious preachers as being speculated by some people, declaring that such speculation was not only misleading but a disservice to the residents of the state.
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef, made this known on Monday while speaking at a one-Day Stakeholders Forum, themed: “Noise: The Unwanted Menace for Urban Development,” organised by the Lagos State Environment Protection Agency (LASEPA), in collaboration with the ministry.
The commissioner, who maintained that the state government, under the leadership of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had no plan to license religious preachers, stressed that religious exercise or worship was purely an individual matter under the constitution which should not be interfered with by any government.
Dr AbdulLateef, however, called for caution on the part of religious leaders and followers, who he said were seen as critical stakeholders and developmental partners to the government. He reiterated that the use of external speakers, the ringing of church bells and call to prayers do not constitute noise pollution, if such external speakers were immediately turned off after the exercise.
The commissioner, therefore, enjoined adherents of the Islamic and Christian faiths to imbibe the culture of tolerance in their religious practices in order not to run foul of the state laws on noise pollution.
In their individual remark, Professor Tajudeen Gbadamosi, President, Muslim Community of Lagos State (MCLS) and Elder (Dr.) Israel Akinadero, Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) commended the state government for coming up with the maiden edition of the stakeholders’ forum, pledging to support and comply with state laws on noise pollution.