The Pastors’ Council of Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church Worldwide has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for extending the total lockdown in some parts of the country due to the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.
This was made known in a release signed by the Council Supervising Pastor, Moses Ademola Popoola and sent to The Echo.
Pastor Popoola also commended health workers and other frontliners who have been in the battle of the war against COVID-19.
“The recent announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari, of an extended two weeks of the COVID-19 did not come to many by surprise, considering the urgent need to do all that is possible to contain the deadly pandemic.
“It is therefore not out of place to commend the Federal and State Governments, especially, Lagos, Ogun, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the Ministry of Health, National Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC), captains of industries and other relevant agencies for the manner in which they have taken the fight to the pandemic, which no doubt has yielded some positive and progressive results.
“It is noteworthy that there has never been a time in the history of our dear country, Nigeria, when the political class jettisoned their differences to work together on a ‘common purpose’. May the unity of purpose continue in Nigeria. It is pertinent to state at this point that, as a Body of Christ, we are solidly with the government in the fight against the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic,” Popoola said.
He further tasked the government to increase their testing capacity so that the stay-at-home order can achieve its purpose.
According to him, “On another note, our governments need to do more in terms of increasing our testing capacity. Nigeria’s testing capacity has been abysmally low, and this might pose a huge challenge as we are not sure what our true status is at the moment. However, with increased testing, we can know where we are and what exactly we need to do to overcome this pandemic. It is somewhat shameful to observe that smaller countries such as Ghana, Egypt and South Africa are conducting tests more than we, the “Giant of Africa”. So far, the only way to stop the spread of the virus is to identify those who are infected with it through testing and quarantine them for treatment. While the aforementioned countries with lesser populations are aggressively conducting tests, Nigeria is doing hers with kid gloves. This lukewarm approach endangers the nation. More so, it mocks the stay-at-home order of the authorities.”
The Church appealed to the government to make adequate provision for the poor during this lockdown as their means of livelihood has been taken away from them.
It observed that if the right thing was not done, this may lead to the problem of hunger among residents.
“In addition, government must do more to ensure proper handling of the palliatives as Nigerians are already groaning from the economic effects of the lockdown, both in terms of improving the palliatives and ensuring that the funds and food items are not diverted. Our governments need to do more in terms of openness in the way the palliatives are distributed to Nigerians. It has been noted with pity, the stimulus packages shared to the poor and vulnerable in the communities have been short of expectations. We need to appreciate the fact that operating a largely informal economy means that people will find it difficult to feed without working for a day. The lockdown order has kept them away from their sources of livelihood for days and the palliatives being shared cannot sustain them.
“While the government is trying to solve the virus problem, it is also unconsciously creating hunger challenges without the provision of adequate stimulus package for the poor. As a Christian leader, I urge the government at different levels to step up their game by adequately providing for the poor. The untold economic hardships are beginning to tell on them already. People now spend more without earning anything. Also, the government need to be transparent about the cash transfer widely talked about in the media without a commiserate effect in the communities. Transparency births trust.
“Government’s palliatives are meant to ease the untold hardships of the continued lockdown, especially on the lower class. Nigeria operates a market economy where most people earn their livings on daily basis. This posits that with the lockdown, most of these people, with immediate and extended families to cater for, would be spending money on daily basis, without any earnings.
“There should be relief economic packages for civil servants too as most of them survive on loans from banks and co-operative societies. The government should come up with plans to ensure that civil servants do not use most of their post-COVID-19 earnings in loan repayments,” the statement read.
He also enjoined the Nigerian Christian faithful to keep interceding for the country.
“In conclusion, I urge all Christians and Nigerians at large to comply with government directives on COVID-19 so that the pandemic can be defeated in the shortest possible time. Most importantly, let’s keep praying for the healing of the world,” Popoola concluded.