The Christian Association of Nigeria on Thursday faulted the distribution of relief materials and payments of stipends to Nigerians over the coronavirus lockdown, saying government had not been transparent.
The organisation also said the pandemic would not deter Christians in the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The President of CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, expressed these views in his Easter Message titled, ‘We shall have victory at last, signed by his Special Assistant (Media and Communications), Adebayo Oladeji.
He said, “We further urge the government to be transparent and inclusive of all regions and religious persuasions in the identification of the poor to which pandemic relief materials and payments are being made available.
“We know the government cannot touch every poor in the society for lack of enough resources, but equal selection of the poor per state with balance in religious persuasions would have done better justice.
“We shall continue to pray for the government for right and inclusive decisions always for our general good.”
According to him, Christians have been forced to celebrate Easter for the first time in over 100 hundred years in a lockdown due to Covid-19.
Ayokunle said, “Beloved and fellow Nigerians, we shall see the end of all evils challenging us in the name of Jesus including COVID-19.
“Let all local churches remember to make relief packages available to the poor among them at this time. This is the time we would know the true church of Christ and those that are just commercial outfits.”
The CAN boss said the coronavirus disruptions of human activities should not deter Christans from their joy and victory over all evils “which Christ’s unique resurrection from the dead has brought to us.”
Bello advocates sacrifice, love
Meanwhile, the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has called on Christians to imbibe the virtues of sacrifice and love as they celebrate Easter.
Bello in a message by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammad, felicitated with Christians in the state and all over the world.
He said, “As we mark Easter, it is pertinent to reflect deeply on the lessons of uncommon sacrifice, selflessness and inestimable love as displayed by Jesus Christ for the redemption of mankind.
“As a people, we must be willing to make sacrifices for the overall development of our state and the good of our fellow brothers and sisters,” Bello said.
He enjoined Christians and people of the state to use the occasion to seek God’s intervention over the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging some states of the federation and the world over.
Fear God, not virus –Bishop
Also, the Presiding Bishop, Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Ibadan, Bishop Wale Oke, has admonished Nigerians and members of the international community to fear God more than the dreaded COVID-19.
He spoke in a statement on Easter titled, ‘Coronavirus: Fear God more,’ on Tuesday.
The statement read in part, “In the world today, nothing appears to be cheery. The news being churned out on a daily basis, especially during this period of the pandemic, is not ear-appeasing at all. But the good thing is, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord, has conquered all fears. He died and rose for you and I.
“I urge the people not to turn coronavirus into another demi-god to be worshipped through unnecessary fears.
“Rather, it is God that needs to be feared the most. There is no disease or power above God. So, just like most people have obeyed and are still obeying the stay-at-home order while still observing other rules related to coronavirus’ prevention, we should obey God.”
C&S leader preaches love
In the same vein, the Supreme Head, Cherubim & Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria, Prophet Solomon Alao, has urged leaders at all levels in the country to emulate Jesus Christ who sacrificed himself for the redemption of mankind.
The clergy, in his goodwill message to celebrate this year’s Good Friday, said the world would have been a better place if leaders lead by example and were ready to make sacrifices, especially now that the world seems to be on trial.
A statement by the church’s Public Relations Officer, Apostle Muyiwa Adeyemi, quoted Alao as saying, “As the world is currently working together irrespective of creed or race to find solution to the coronavirus pandemic, so also I expect them to work together to find solution to hunger, starvation and sicknesses in nations of the world.
“Jesus Christ has shown us the way; leaders must show love and be ready to sacrifice their comfort to make the country better. This is a perilous time and we must pray fervently to God to heal our land and end COVID-19 pandemic.”
The cleric also called on all religious leaders to pay serious attention to the welfare of their members at this time of lockdown in many states, which he said had brought about hunger in many homes.
He directed all C&S churches to attend to the welfare of all their members and neighbours that are vulnerable.