NIGERIA: Consider the Poor, Vulnerable in Covid-19 Pandemic, Archbishop Akubeze Urges

BENIN CITY, APRIL 14, 2020 (CISA)-Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze of Benin City and President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has called on the civil authorities and well-wishers to make an effort to provide material and financial assistance to the marginalized and disadvantaged families as the country continues to battle Covid-19.

In his Easter message the archbishop noted that, “…with everyone worrying about their personal safety and health, it is easy to forget the poor, the needy, widows and widowers.”

“Today, many of our people have concluded that it is over with economic recovery, that, it is over with equitable wealth for everyone, that, it is over with security of lives and property, that, it is over with justice for everyone in the land. Despite all these, I say, for the Risen Lord, nothing is impossible. Let us gradually effect changes in the places we work and live. Let us develop patience, a virtue that is needed if we truly trust in God. We must know that God’s time is always the best,” the Archbishop said.

Recalling how the world began the year 2020 with much hope, Archbishop Akubeze urges everyone to hold on that hope and expectations of the New Year even as Christians all over the world celebrate Easter amidst uncertainties.

“History will forever remember the year 2020. We began the year with so much joy and expectations. No one knew or planned for the current health crisis bedevilling our world. The COVID-19 pandemic took everyone by surprise and caught the world off-guard. Consequently, the celebration of Easter this year will be devoid of its usual pomp and pageantry,” he said.

“Whereas humans want quick fixes and immediate solutions to difficulties, the Lord operates on a higher and better timing than ours. The Psalmist tells us, our God is in heaven, he does whatever he wills (Psalm 115:3). And His will is always for our good. But we cannot hasten God’s action by our worry. Jesus tells us how futile worry is when he says, ‘you cannot make a single hair on your head white or black’ (Matthew 5:36). God does not direct injustice toward his people, but he can make every tragedy become a blessing,” the Archbishop added.

He reminded everyone to pray for medical personnel who are on the forefront in the war against Covid-19 for God’s protection and guidance. “Also, we pray for all who have been infected, for God’s healing and restoration. Finally, for all who have lost loved ones, we pray for consolation and eternal rest for all who have died.”