Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
As Christians the world over mark this year’s Easter celebration amid the novel covid-19 lockdown, Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has called on the people to pray for the state, Nigeria and the entire world for a speedy end to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Ortom, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, enjoined all Christians and Muslims to pray and seek the intervention of Almighty God in the fight against COVID-19 which is ravaging every part of the globe.
“He states that with God, nothing is impossible, as it is written in the book of 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
“Governor Ortom says the death and resurrection of Jesus should draw his followers closer to God so that they can appreciate the abundant grace and mercy of God upon their lives. He urges the people to eschew bitterness and differences, unite and show love to one another at this trying moment in human history.
Ortom also called on Benue families to mark this year’s Easter celebration indoors, to avoid coming in close contact with others, in line with the directive on social distancing even as he harped on the need for people to adhere to hand washing, use of sanitizers and other preventive measures against COVID-19.
“He says owing to increasing cases of the virus in the country, it is in the best interest of all Benue people that the closure of public places such as markets and worship centres, as well as the 7pm to 6, am curfew continue, with the assurance that government’s assessment of the situation will determine the next line of action.
The governor also noted that though the measures taken to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the state are painful, the approach is necessary as the sacrifice that must be made by all Benue people.
He maintained that although there is no fresh case of the disease in Benue, it is important that the people continue to support the Action Committee on COVID-19 to ensure that the state remains safe.
On security, the governor condemned in strong terms, the attack on Jootar in Ukum Local Government Area by suspected militia which led to the loss of lives last Wednesday.
He, however, assured that security had been beefed up in the area to curb further conflicts, adding that security operatives had been directed to apprehend those fomenting trouble at Tyo-Mu in Makurdi Local Government Area.
“Governor Ortom wonders why some persons would choose to attack their fellow human beings at a time the world is battling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“On the recent invasion of some communities of the state by armed herdsmen, the governor thanks Benue people for their unflinching support and equally commends security agencies for the successes so far recorded in enforcing the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.
“He restates the determination of his administration to guaranteeing the security of lives and property,” the statement concluded.