THE Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Religious Matters, Rev. Sam Ogedengbe, has directed religious bodies in the state to remove all speakers mounted outside their main auditorium.
The directive was part of the government’s efforts to reduce noise pollution and its attendant health hazards in the metropolis..
Speaking during an interactive session with religious leaders and the press yesterday at the State Secretariat, Ikeja, Rev. Ogedengbe said it was imperative for government to revisit the need for religious houses to comply with the directives on noise pollution.
According to him, “We have received more than enough petitions from affected Lagosians over the issue of noise pollution, caused by religious houses, and there is no alternative than to make it compulsory for people to comply.”
The Special Adviser dismissed insinuations that the action was a deliberate plan to clamp down on churches and mosques, saying: “This is far from the truth. The government has always chosen to dialogue with the people of the state, but people willingly decided to flout the directives.
“The significance of the session was to enable various religious leaders contribute to the new measures we are planning to stem the volume of noise generated through their activities.”
Ogedengbe also cautioned those who claimed there is no law against noise pollution in the state to desist, saying: “Law against noise pollution is clearly stated. The problem is that such laws have not been implemented over the years”...
He suggested that religious bodies should make use of soundproof materials in their centres to reduce the impact of noise in the neighbourhood.
According to him, “Sometimes we receive up to 50 complaints in a day, across the state; in fact, there was an instance we got a complaint from a community where there were 17 churches and three mosques. This is one of the reasons we are looking into the matter to avert social unrests.”