Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State Governor has called on Christians to use the period of Easter to pray for Nigeria as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa said that Easter was a time for Christian faithful to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
According to him, the power of the resurrection crystalised in Easter, presents in 2020, an opportunity for Christians to seek the face of God in prayers to heal Nigeria and the world of the rampaging COVID-19.
Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa stated that Easter was a time for people to show love to one another, especially at the backdrop of the prevailing hardship occasioned by the Lockdown necessitated by COVID-19, and urged well-meaning Nigerians to render assistance particularly to the downtrodden in the society.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta, I congratulate Christians all over the world as they celebrate Easter.
“I call on Christian faithful to go to God in prayer to heal our state, nation and the entire world now being scotched by COVID-19.
“As Christians, we must reflect on the importance of Easter in our dealings, not only with other Christians, but with people of other religious inclinations.
“Let me urge Nigerians to extend the spiritual benefits of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which include love, peace, justice, sacrifice and kindness, to one another, especially in these precarious times.
“As Christians, it is imperative on us to continue to uphold the principles of our faith as they relate to honesty, justice, integrity, accountability, compassion, selflessness and the pursuit of the common good for our nation,” he said.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa recalled that at the onset of the Coronavirus siege in the country, the state government took proactive steps by deploying measures, including establishing and equipping four Isolation Centres and no fewer than 11 Holding Centres across the state, and training of relevant personnel in the management of the pandemic, while also placing the matter before God for His intervention.
Dr Ifeanyi Okowa said that the government also immediately commenced sensitization of the people to all issues surrounding the pandemic so as to check its spread, especially as no proven solution for it had been found, adding that citizens were admonished to embrace regular washing of hands in running water, use of hand sanitizer and face mask, and avoidance of being in clusters and congregations.
“The government also prohibited burials, weddings, conferences, seminars and other gatherings that will attract more than 20 persons and religious assemblies of more 50 persons, and also closed all schools in the state.
“We followed these measures with the closure of our boundaries and stoppage of flight operations into our airport on March 29.
This was followed by a Lockdown order on all public and private activities in the state on April 1. “As inconveniencing as the measures may appear, our people have so far complied with the directives in spite of two confirmed cases of the virus in the state, one of which recorded a fatality on Thursday.
“I commend all residents in the state for the compliance level, and urge them and all Nigerians to sustain the obedience and observance of all the directives and precautionary measures released by the state government and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in order to prevent further spread of the virus.
“I also urge that as we celebrate the Easter in a rather bizarre condition, we should continue to cooperate with government officials and security agents, especially in this period of lockdown. “May the lessons and blessings of Easter help us to overcome the vicissitudes of COVID-19,’’ the governor stated.