© Fides

Nigeria’s Bishops Comment on Coronavirus Impact

‘Coronavirus makes us more humble, invites us to return to God and to show solidarity towards the poor’

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A bath of humility to remind everyone that it is necessary to return to God. Thus some Bishops of Nigeria exhort the faithful in the face of the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes the COVID-19 disease, reported Fides News Agency.

«All nations, big or small, developed and undeveloped, poor and rich, have seen that technology cannot do much», said His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, Archbishop of Abuja, the federal capital. «Clearly, it is a new beginning for humanity. It means we must return to the golden rule of love and respect for one another. Above all, it has shown that God is on the throne and all must return to Him», he stressed.

Also His Exc. Mgr. Paulinus Chukwuemeka Ezeokafor, Bishop of Awka, in his homily for Palm Sunday Mass, streamed live on Facebook and other online channels, said that «Coronavirus has proved that we are mere mortals and that there is nothing extraordinary about humans. COVID-19 has humbled everyone including those who hitherto saw no need to beckon on God for solution and help». The Bishop of Awka invited everyone to pray incessantly at this time of trial and said he was optimistic about overcoming this difficult situation. Mgr. Ezeokafor asked the faithful to help families in difficulty because of the measures taken to contain the pandemic. «I urge you all to give to those in need. We should learn to give at all times. A lot of people are living from hand to mouth. Many cannot feed very well let alone now that they are asked to sit-at-home. I feel for those people. We must find a way to assist them», Said Mgr. Ezeokafor, who announced that the diocese has launched a food assistance program for the poor and that all the Church’s charitable bodies are mobilized for this purpose.

Finally, Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, Archbishop of Lagos, said that Covid-19 highlights the shortcomings of Nigeria’s healthcare facilities caused by corruption. «By the time low-grade leadership combines with big government and the seemingly irresistible tendency to steal and or waste Nigeria’s money, you find a country whose hospitals are reduced to mere consultation rooms», Cardinal Okogie denounced.

«It is therefore insufficient for our legislators to forfeit their salaries for two months as they have offered, it is also unsatisfactory for Senators to donate half of their salaries to tackle COVID-19. The humongous basic salaries and allowances of our political office holders should become a thing of the past. The money should be used to establish a regime of high-quality medical service delivery», concluded the Cardinal.

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