Oyo State Government has sealed three churches for noise making and for violating the prescribed noise level and other environmental laws in the state.

The three churches were sealed at the weekend by the state Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Chief Isaac Ishola. Ishola, however accused a General Overseer of one of the churches of assaulting him while sealing off his church.

The commissioner while narrating his ordeals in the hands of the General Overseer, described the action of the cleric as unpatriotic.

The GO (names withheld) was said to have molested, harassed and insulted the Commissioner in the church premises in an effort to prevent the sealing off of the church premises.

Speaking with journalists after the exercise in his office, Ishola who was emotional over the development, warned against violation of laws regulating noise in the state, adding that the ministry under the state government would no longer tolerate the culture of impunity as any religious body found exceeding the prescribed noise in the state would be sealed off. Like today, 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 called.

“In fact, the Pastor came out, bounced on me and said you cannot seal this church, because if you do, you have closed your destiny. And I told him that I am a Christian too, but you cannot use Christianity to disturb the peace of others,” he said.

Ishola then 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.

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He said anybody who refused to comply would be arrested, and that the premises would be sealed in line with the laws regulating noise in the state. He explained that the government had last year November held a meeting with the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Muslim Ulamas, Imams, DJs and communication companies , and hotel owners , after which they all promised to talk with their members on the need to comply with state’s 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 Government Reserved Areas (GRAs) with external speakers. “And that is why the government resolved that it must put a stop to this nuisances.

Section 58 of the Oyo state Environmental Sanitation and and Waste Control Regulation No.6 Vol.38 of 2013 states that no person shall make noise beyond permissible level to the environment. And when we go to these places, they have exceeded the permissible level,” the Commissioner stated.

For industrial area, Ishola said the noise permissible level shall be 90DP within a distance of 2.5 metres from the source of the noise, while in the case of residential area the noise permissible level should be 60DP and 45DP for day and night, respectively.

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