The Oyo State Government yesterday sealed off three churches in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, over noise pollution.
The State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Chief Isaac Ishola who disclosed this, said the churches flouted the prescribed noise level in the state.
Speaking with reporters in his office at the weekend, the commissioner said his ministry would no longer tolerate impunity as any religious body found exceeding the prescribed noise level would be shut.
The commissioner who said he was harassed by one of the general overseers of one of the new generation churches while he was attempting to seal his church, said, “I was insulted and harassed by a pastor, the owner of one of the sealed churches who refused to comply with the state regulations . The pastor refused to attend a meeting we called. In fact, the pastor came out, bounced on me and said, ‘You cannot seal this church and if you do it, you have closed your destiny.’ But I told him, ‘I am a Christian too. You cannot use Christianity to disturb the peace of others.’”
Ishola called on all religious bodies in the state to remove all external speakers mounted on their building as this was against government laws regulating noise in the environment.
He said the government had last year November held a meeting with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Muslim Ulamas, Imams, DJs and communication companies and hotel owners , and that they all promised to comply with state regulations on the environment.
“But since then, the state government has not seen any remarkable improvement. And not only that, the state government decided to look into approved plans of these religious buildings . Imagine when you have churches and mosques inside GRAs with external speakers. And that is why the government resolved that it must stop the nuisance.”