From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Kaduna State Chapter, has called on the state government to relax the COVID-19 imposed lockdown in the state.
The state Chairman of the Association Rev John Hayab stated this in a statement made available to media in kaduna yesterday.
The Clergy stated that the Association backed similar call by the Kaduna State Chapter of the Council of Imams and Ulamas.
According to Rev Hayab, Christian Association of Nigeria, Kaduna State Chapter appreciates the tireless efforts of the state government through the State Standing Committee on COVID-19 headed by the state’s Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarebe, for all that is been done to ensure that the spread of the deadly disease is curtailed.
“Therefore, CAN wants to make use of this medium to express gratitude to God for healing our Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai and others in the state from Coronavirus.
“We thank the Church and law-abiding citizens of the state for their understanding in abiding with government and health workers’ directives, at this trying moment in the history of man’s existence in the surface of the earth, on how to curb the pandemic.
“We do pray that God Almighty will grant others that are going through various processes of treatment and deliver the state, Nigeria and the entire world from the pandemic.” He said.
Further, Rev. Hayab noted that since the COVID-19 lockdown, the state government through the State Standing Committee has recommended proper steps to take towards finding a lasting solution to the spread of the pandemic.
He added that the state government on its part has performed credibly well through the combined efforts of health experts, security agencies, religious leaders, NGOs and all stakeholders to the level the state has found itself regarding the pandemic, stressing that these efforts are good and the best all human can do.
He added that “The state government through the recommendations of the State Standing Committee has made Tuesday and Wednesday, Wednesday and Saturday, and now the state is making Wednesday and Thursday as two days for relaxing the restriction for citizens to be able to shop for what to eat.
“Meanwhile, since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country and in Kaduna State, in particular, the state chapter of CAN has solidly stood behind the state government in its policies aimed at curbing the spread of the disease, especially the restriction of holding Church services, Church weddings, large gatherings, supporting the wearing of a mask, washing of hands, the usage of sanitizer, staying at home, among other measures aimed at aiding us to stay safe.
However, the state CAN chairman said that after careful consideration of government’s efforts on the days suitable for relaxing the restriction of movement, it suggested to the government that in her next adjustment of days for relaxing the lockdown it should consider Fridays and Sundays to relax the restriction of movement to enable both Muslims and Christians to worship in Mosques and Churches.
He explained that “The step, CAN believe, could be applied to attain positive results.which includes: Places of worship can organize one or two worship sessions with few worshippers observing physical distancing,
Places of worship can provide soap, water and hand sanitizers for worshippers to use before and after worship, and Places of worship could enjoin every worshipper to wear his or her face mask.
Rev. Hayab said that if the government allows people of faith to meet and worship together, it would serve as avenues to further call on all to strictly abide by government’s and health workers’ advice on how best people could go about conducting themselves, adding that it will also serve as a medium to further sensitize worshippers to be obedient to government’s policies, especially towards combating the COVID-19.
The coming together of worshippers could enhance the provision of food items and other necessities of life to the needy in both Churches and Mosques, thereby, uniting members and enable them to share ideas on the way forward for the state and the country as a whole.
“ The most important thing that we will do both as Christians and Muslims would be to offer fervent prayers in our congregations for God to intervene and deliver humankind from the COVID-19 calamity.” He said