Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu, Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha, Aloysius Attah, Onitsha, Eziomume Solomon, Nnewi
Archbishop of the Enugu Province and Bishop of Enugu Anglican Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, yesterday, said the Province will not shut any of its branches over Coronavirus pandemic.
Chukwuma who faulted the order of government for churches and places of worship not to open, said it was unfortunate and wrong to categorise church and worship centres with drinking palours, night clubs, markets and companies.
The cleric said he would not shut the churches because he is not the owner, as the church belongs to Jesus Christ, adding that if people were stopped from “running to their God in worship in a time like now the whole world was confusion, where would they run to for safety, help and deliverance?”
He said shutting the church in a trying time like the one faced by the country would mean giving the devil opportunity to ravage the people and the country.
Warning that attacking the church will not bring solution but worsen what we were faced with already, Chukwuma advised that there was need for the country to continue to seek divine solution to the challenge of COVID-19.
The Archbishop, who was reacting to the disruption of worship of some Anglican churches in Enugu, warned security operatives to stop forcing members of the Anglican Church from worshipping in their church buildings, insisting that he had ensured that all hygienic protocols and social distancing practices were kept for the good of the people.
“I have told them (Police) not to try it again unless they want more trouble for themselves and their families. There is no way you can ask the church of God to stop when we need prayers to bring healing upon the land, especially when we are faced with a problem as serious as coronavirus that has defied every human solution.
“It is wrong on the government to send police after worshippers. I think if they are serious, what they should do is to ensure that the hygiene protocol is kept, that the social distancing order is also kept, while encouraging those at the altar to pray the country out (of the pandemic). What can man do under this circumstance without God? What can even the President or our scientists do in this trying time without God? It is wrong for people to think that we will not find answers to what has befallen us through prayers. So, I want to warn that whoever is behind the disruption should stop in his own interest.
“The last thing I will do at this time is to close the doors of my church building. In my Cathedral, we worshipped today and we will observe all the Palm Sunday and Easter activities. I will worship on Monaday, Thursday as well as the Easter Sunday. It will be sad on anybody who tried to stop us because. We’re doing what we are supposed to do.
Onitsha General Hospital isolation/treatment centre ready for patients
Deputy Chief Medical Director (DCMD), Onitsha General Hospital, Dr. Nnamdi Ikpelinwa, has said the hospital was fully equipped and ready to receive coronavirus patients.
In an interview with journalists, he said though no case was brought to the hospital, health workers were ready to receive and treat COVID-19 patients.
He said there were still challenges facing the hospital, especially the provision of consumable facemasks and gloves.
He appealed to those who could help to provide these materials to come to their aid and called for incentives for health workers to motive and encourage them to do more as frontliners in the fight against COVID-19.
Anambra billionaires should build disaster response hospital – Ezeemo
Anambra industrialist and politician, Godwin Ezeemo, has called on wealthy persons to partner with the state government to build a disaster response hospital and create a healthy environment where victims of coronavirus can be effectively treated.
Ezeemo, who made the call yesterday in Umuchu, Aguata Local Government Area, said there were about 100 Anambra indigenes that could put down the resources to construct and equip a standard hospital for the state.
Ezeemo had made some financial contributions to the state COVID-19 account and was acknowledged by Governor Willie Obiano in a broadcast last Thursday.
“If wealthy persons can look beyond political affiliation or self glory, we can fix our health facility in a manner that will meet any form of natural health disaster. I urge philanthropists to pull resources together for the common good of all,” he said.
He said the coronavirus pandemic which had dealt a great blow in the economic and social well being of the people was a worrisome issue that needed tact and team work to curb its spread in the state.
According to him, the federal and Anambra state governments have done great to ensure that people are well sensitised on the management of the pandemic since it manifested in 2019.
He commended the actions taken by the state government on March 19 to suspend all forms of social gathering and the closure of schools and provision of isolation centres in Onitsha, Awka, Nnewi and surge centres in Ekwulobia and Umueri.
He called on the traders who deal on food stuff to follow the foot print of the federal and state governments and spirited individuals who had supported the fight against the spread of the epidemic by selling theirs at reasonable prices.
“This the time for show of brotherhood and charity and not personal enrichment, people should see reasons to help save humanity and not adding to the sorrows of their fellow human beings” he said.
Soludo donates N10m to Anambra Fund
Former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has donated N10 million to the Anambra State COVID-19 Fund.
Soludo said it was the collective responsibility of citizens to rise up to the historic challenge of the moment and support Governor Willie Obiano in his efforts to shield the people or minimise the damages of COVID-19 scourge.
Soludo lauded the Federal Government, bishops and clergy of the various church denominations in Anambra, market associations, traditional rulers, leaders of town unions, political parties, civil society organisations, teachers,public servants, students, youths, captains of industry, and all Anambra people for co-operating with the government to defeat the virus.
“I am working hard with my foundation and friends on the finishing phase of a 120-bed hospital we are building, which will be managed by the church, as well as contribution to my party’s COVID-19 Fund. We are also mobilising resources and doing quite a lot at the community level, but you know that I don’t indulge in what I call opportunistic charity and I so I won’t talk more about these. The point is that a time like this requires everyone to do something, however little, to help”, Soludo said.
Soludo praised Governor Obiano for the comprehensive plan to combat the virus and the stimulus package to lessen the hardship of the lockdown of the state on the most vulnerable.
Citing the 16-bed bed isolation centre at the Onitsha General Hospital and the 240- bed isolation centre at the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) complex at Mbaukwu-Umuawaulu in Awka South Local Government Area, renovation of Ekwulobia and Umueri General Hospitals, as examples of measures to mitigate the disease if it gets into the state, he expressed satisfaction with the state’s preparedness and farsightedness in the campaign against the coronavirus.
He also praised the state government for training doctors, nurses, lab. scientists and cleaners in the management of COVID-19 patients.
NGO distributes protective kits to Anambra monarchs
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Zimuzo Development Foundation, has distributed sanitisers, soaps, buckets and other protective kits to traditional rulers in 177 communities in Anambra State.
Director General of the foundation, Rev. Uche Ibeabuchi, made the donation at the weekend at the palace of the traditional ruler of Nnewi, Igwe Kenneth Orizu III. He said the gift of the protective kits to the monarch would help in containing coronavirus and keep the traditional rulers healthy and free from the disease.
“Traditional rulers are fathers of our various communities, so, we are distributing protective kits to all of them to ensure that coronavirus does not affect them. Very soon, we shall roll-out another distribution to all the communities in the state. We shall give out 500 protective kits to every community through their various presidents-general, so that every community would be prepared for the war against the pandemic,” he said.
The foundation was established seven years ago through the efforts of Dr. George Moghalu, Director General of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
Ibeabuchi said since its inception, the foundation had been assisting indigent patients, granting scholarships to students, securing the release of prison inmates granted bail by the court but unable to meet bail conditions.
Traditional ruler of Nnewi, Igwe Orizu III, noted that the fight against COVID-19 was a collective one, and therefore, commended the NGO for its contribution, while urging other public spirited individuals to emulate their gesture.
Abia mourns Caleb, doc who died in US
Abia Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has expressed the condolences of government and people of the state to family, friends, relations and people of Ohafia over the death of Dr. Caleb Anya in New York, U.S. while attending to coronavirus patients.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi Kalu, prayed for God’s protection on all healthcare workers on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19.
“His loss reminds us of the risk health workers in our state and globally take daily to protect the rest of us and we use this opportunity to once more salute their courage and sense of sacrificial service to others. Our prayer is that the Almighty God will continue to protect all of them even as we all work harder daily to provide those at the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases with necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep them safe,” the statement said.
Enugu condoles with late Health Commissioner’s family
Enugu Government has condoled with the family of Commissioner for Health, Prof. Anthony Ugochukwu and the medical community and people of Oji River Local Government Area.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, said government was saddened by the demise of Prof. Ugochukwu on Friday, April 3, after a long battle with chronic kidney disease, as already announced by his family.
“The Enugu State Government is very proud of the various contributions made by Prof. Anthony Ugochukwu, in the different capacities he had served the state, particularly as Commissioner for Health, until December 2019 when he was kept out of duty due to this health challenge. The state government beseeched God to grant his soul eternal rest and also grant us all the fortitude to bear this great loss,” Aroh said.