Christian Group, the Christians Rights Agenda (CRA), has challenged religious groups in the country to rise to the occasion and emulate the Church at this critical period of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The group specifically called on such religious groups as the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and the Izala, etc, to come out at this point to show the love that all religions of the world preach.
“We challenge them to draw a line between humanity and politics,” CRA said in a statement by its interim Director of Publicity, Mr. Tom Chiahemen on Thursday.
The group also said it had viewed with concern developments surrounding the management of COVID-19 and matters arising therefrom, pointing out that after weeks of intense agitation, President Mohammadu Buhari, made a national broadcast that had continued to attract mixed feelings among the Nigerian populace.
“It is curious that several days after the long-awaited national broadcast, majority of Nigerians are still to come to terms with most of the policy statements that did not seem to be well thought out. For instance, up till this moment, neither the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs nor the entire COVID-19 management committee has shown a clear direction on who constitutes the ‘poor and vulnerable’ in our society,” the group lamented.
It also observed that Mr. President’s directive on school feeding program was rather confusing, especially when viewed against the backdrop of the current closure of all schools across the country.
“CRA wonders which school feeding program Mr. President was referring to, or if that was an important issue in the face of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.
The group however commended all those who have made contributions to help in managing the victims of the covid19 pandemic. It appreciated, in particular, “all the churches and other Christian bodies who rose to the occasion donating cash and equipment.”
It appealed to President Buhari and his team should go back to the drawing board come up with more strategies for handling the pandemic with a view to alleviating the hardships being faced by Nigerians, particularly the citizens living the Federal Capital Territory (FCT); Lagos and Ogun states, as a result of the 14-day lock-down.
According to CRA, “as much as human isolation appears to be the best way yet to curtail the spread of the virus, lack of a well-defined policy to ameliorate the attendant challenge of isolation can lead to greater problems. This is because a lot of Nigerians live by daily earnings.”
“In this regard, government should, as a matter of urgency, make test kits available to every Nigerian because there is no other way of knowing those infected. Government’s decision to lockdown Abuja, Lagos and Ogun state, as worse hit, is too simplistic if test kits are only available to politicians and celebrities,” it added.
The group also called on the National Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, invoke the doctrine of necessity and resume sitting, saying, “he parliaments of other nations didn’t close shop.”
“While CRA is keenly watching developments, all Nigerians are enjoined to stay safe and remain law- abiding as all our senior pastors nationwide have been directed to commence a 21- day fasting and prayer to seek the face of God at this critical period in world history,” it said.