Benin City, 03 April, 2020 / 2:05 am (ACI Africa).
While the countrywide stay-at-home directive and the three-state 14-day lockdown implemented in Nigeria are important measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, Catholic Bishops in the West African nation are concerned that people without savings are “getting close to starvation.”
The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has, as a way forward, called on the Bishops to come up with ways of reaching out to the poor people in their respective pastoral contexts.
The lockdown that was enforced March 30 on Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States “is affecting the people in terms of their daily income therefore, as they are avoiding the virus they are getting close to starvation,” CBCN President, Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze stated in his April 1 letter.
Referencing the collective body of Bishops in Africa’s most populous country, Archbishop Akubeze appealed, “We are using this medium to make a passionate appeal to all Bishops to coordinate in their dioceses various means of providing aid to the poor who are significantly affected in their jurisdictions.”
“Each diocese should explore the best ways to make provisions for those whose businesses or sources of income have been affected because of the restriction of movement,” the Local Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Benin City reiterated and added, “The suffering of our people should provoke us to act from love.”