AFRICA/NIGERIA - Bishop complains of negligence in dealing with Covid-19

Thursday, 4 March 2021 bishops   coronavirus  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Bishop Godfrey Onah expresses his concerns about the laxity in the implementation of COVID-19 safety precautions: "In our markets, no precautions. We make some attempts in schools but if you walk through our universities, where you have no adults, no attempt is made to take these precautions".
Bishop Onah then criticized the authorities for the lack of a vaccination plan. "Every country in the world is making plans about protecting its citizens through vaccination. The Nigerian government is busy protecting cows and governors are defending the rights of bandits to carry arms", he said, referring to the spread of banditry and the proliferation of "self-defense" groups. Both phenomena were denounced by the Bishops of Nigeria in a statement in which they warn that Nigeria could be divided and split along ethnic lines (see Fides, 24/2/2021).
Mgr. Onah then referred to the plague represented by mass kidnappings of schoolchildren, such as the recent case of young students of the GGSS Jangebee Secondary School in the state of Zamfara, in the north-west of Nigeria, kidnapped on the night of February 25 (see Fides, 26/2/2021 and 2/3/2021), highlighting the authorities' inability to protect them: "While other people are protecting children, our government is begging bandits to release hundreds of children who were taken from schools".
"The road we are walking on in this country is leading us to doom and destruction. We must all make an about-turn", says the Bishop of Nsukka, urging the faithful to follow the recommendations against the pandemic in order to be able to celebrate Holy Week and Easter without restrictions.
The government of Nigeria has imposed restrictions on public gatherings since March 2020, to control the spread of the coronavirus. The country has recorded at least 152,074 cases of COVID-19 including 1,839 fatalities and 128,619 recoveries. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 4/3/2021)