Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, Ignatius Kaigama, has suggested to Federal Government to devise reliable and efficient means of reaching out to suffering Nigerians who have been compelled to stay indoors as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Catholic prelate insisted that the measures currently being used by the government to reach a few Nigerians are ineffective and called for a change of approach.
Bishops Kaigama, in his Sunday homily at an almost empty church auditorium of Our Lady, Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral Church, Garki, Area 3, Abuja, said the government had exposed the people to an increased level of poverty and hunger unarguably, caused by the lockdown of Nigeria as part of measures to contain community transmission of the dreaded coronavirus in Nigeria.
He discouraged security agents on enforcement duty from being hard on the people in the cause of the enforcement, noting that it was a difficult task the people to stay indoors without provision for food and other necessary items.
He said: “Government must be sensitive to the suffering of the masses who have nothing to eat or means of survival at this critical period. Though it was nobody’s fault that the coronavirus pandemic had kept everyone at home, but we must show love, empathy, understanding and care for one another.”
The archbishop admonished Catholics and the entire Christians to keep their faith stronger and not allow Coronavirus to distance them from God.
He described this period as a time to let the Lord lead believers and transform them so that they would be good Christians, dependable and patriotic Nigerians. “During this period, we intensify prayers, charity toward others, especially the poor, the marginalised and the deprived in the society.
“We must say masses and have devotions in our homes regularly. We must draw closer to God and trust him more than before. We must develop ourselves spiritually and trust God.
”We must not make the mistake of saying that Jesus is on holiday, as Jesus is everywhere and never on holiday. Jesus could visit you at home just as He visited Martha. So, you must be prepared at all times to receive Him,” he said.
Kaigama, however, prayed for the frontline heroes who are working during this difficult time to keep the country safe and informed.