The people of the country have been called upon to cooperate with the government by embracing necessary behavioural changes.
Kaigama calls for behavioral changes
From Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Also leaders in the nation have been urged to do more to increase health ministries’ capacity to test and diagnose all persons who are in need of such test.
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Archbishop Ignatius A. Kaigama made the plea in Easter message to Christians.
He observed that majority of the people in the country live in the periphery of cities and also those in villages who are far from media attention.
“Similarly, as stringent measures are being put in place to contain the spread of the deadly disease coronavirus COVID- 19, I urge our leaders to always remember to give every decision and implementation a human face,” he advised.
He further urged Nigerians to be patient in order to survive the shock that comes with sudden, seemingly and unfavourable adjustments.
He added: “Collectively as a nation, we must not give into despair, we have together overcome bigger challenges in the past, and this one will not be any different.”
Archbishop Kaigama noted that provided, the people of the nation stand and work together against their common enemy who doesn’t discriminate between the poor and the rich, the low and the mighty, success would be attained in this direction.
He also observed that for the past few weeks, on top of all the peculiar challenges, there were insurgency, kidnapping, attacks and general insecurity, in addition to the nation’s dwindling economy and its harsh consequences on it.
“We cannot shake hands and embrace anymore, neither can we visit family, relations and friends without doubts or preoccupation; more seriously, we can’t even go to the house of God to pour out our troubles and find succor in the embrace of a believing community,” he said.
The Archbishop further noted: “This is hardly how we want things to be gloomy, dark and frightening like an extended Good Friday night, but we must never give up, even as we are afraid of kidnappers, militants, herdsmen, bandits, cattle rustlers and loss of jobs, money or material resources or illness.”
He said, the resurrection is a very strong reminder, that we must submit totally and unconstitutionally and ensure honesty to God, adding that the practice of religion as an outward act of piety is not enough.
“We must practice religion of the heart not religion of the heard, or a mere out ward show or as an intellectual exercise of repeating doctrinal phrases that sometimes trigger fundamentalism and inter-religion violence,” he urged.
According to him, Easter is an invitation to faith, faith in a surpassing mystery that Jesus who died on Good Friday, still lives.
“This faith teaches us that because Jesus is alive forever, the victory of evil and the cruel plans of men can only be temporary.
“It teaches us never to give up on the virtues of patience, perseverance, hope and trust in God; this will also win no matter how long the night of sorrow lasts,” said he.
He said: “God doesn’t forget or forsake us,” saying that the darkest hour is just before the dawn, but soon it will be daylight again.
He said on Easter morning, the stone of sorrow, captivity and death was rolled away, asking: “are our hearts like a tomb full of frightening thoughts and depressing secrets, awaiting a new life? Is there anything holding us back from genuine conversion and renewal of spirit? Is there dark cloud hanging around our nation and our world?”