The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos Archdiocese, His Grace Most Rev Alfred Adewale Martins, has asked the government at all levels to come up with stable plans to cushion the adverse effects, which he said, the deadly coronavirus pandemic, otherwise known as COVID-19 has on the people.
Archbishop Martins, who made the call in his homily of the in-house Holy Mass to mark the 2020 Easter Sunday Celebration, at Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, on April 12, noted that the virus and the resulting lockdown had created so much hardships on the citizens of Nigeria, especially, among the poor and the vulnerable in society.
According to the bishop, if there was a better time for the Government of Nigeria at all levels to ensure that the basic needs of the citizens were adequately provided, and lives made easier for the people, it was now they were under the threat of the adverse effects of the coronavirus.
Most Rev Martins, who is also the Metropolitan See of Lagos Ecclesiastical Province, observed that while the NIgerian Government issued the directives for lockdown across the country so as to contain the spread of COVID-19, there was also need for the government to make plans for the welfare of the people who could no longer cater for their survival due to the lockdown.
He however commended the federal and states governments, as well as people of goodwill, for their efforts in the provision of food palliatives for the less privileged in various communities. This was even as he called for more to be done in that regard.
Pointing out the need for better plans for the future, the Catholic Archbishop called on the government to equally make plans for the fallout of the COVID-19.
This, he said, was for the good of the masses and the country, so as to avoid more crisis.
Archbishop Martins, who further based his reflections on the readings of the Easter Sunday, described the empty tomb as a testimony to the fact that death had been swallowed up in victory.
He expressed his delight that the faithful would again sing alleluia with relish, because Christ had swallowed death in victory.
According to the bishop, Easter was a time to celebrate one’s life in the resurrection of Jesus, and in covenant with God, reject every lifestyle that was satan-like.
The Metropolitan See prayed God to, the same way He removed the stone from the tomb for Mary Magdalene, through the power of resurrection of Jesus, relieve all of their worries, especially in the current difficulties.
He advised all against relapsing to despair, saying that such might mean denying the omnipotent power of God.
Most Rev Martins expressed his conviction that the worry of the COVID-19 would soon be over, and the people of God would again gather and celebrate the little Easter which the Church celebrated on every Sunday.
He however urged all to do the needful, maintain social distancing, wash their hands regularly with soap and running water, or make use of alcohol based hand sanitiser and stay at home so as not to be infected of the deadly coronavirus.
He exhorted all to, in line with their baptismal promise which they renewed on Easter, live a new life in Christ with intensity.
The in-house Holy Mass was televised live in Lumen TV and Gotv, and streamed live in Facebook.
By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba