PTF chair, Boss Mustapha attends anti-coronavirus prayer in Abuja

Nigeria Christians on Sunday have snecked into prayers, seeking God’s help to stop the spread of the virus.

Yesterday, July 5 was the final day of the 3-day prayer and fasting organized by the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC).

The service which was held in Abuja and attened by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Control Boss Mustapha attended the service.

It was with the theme: “O Lord, heal our land of COVID-19 Pandemic”.

Mustapha called on the leaders of the church to always teach their congregation the truth about the pandemic and how they can stay safe for their families and communities, adding that: “COVID-19 is real”.

Mustapha who is Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) said the pandemic had come to stay.

He said: “if you have no business going out, stay at home, it is scriptural and I will undertone this with a quotation for Proverbs 14:16 where the bible says the Wise are cautious and avoid danger, fools plonks ahead with reckless confidence. And I see a lot of Christians exhibiting reckless confidence and the Bible describes them as fools.

“Stay at home if you don’t have business going out, that is the safest place you have, if you have every genuine reason to go out, as mandatory, wear a face mask.

“There is no vaccine and no cure insight. For the scientists that are involved in the research, the time frame they have given for vaccine to be on the table for people to acquire is between 18 months and two years. So COVID-19 has come to stay with us. The only thing you have is to adhere to guidelines and protocols.

“If your nose and your mouth are not covered, you are not wearing a mask. Wear your mask properly. Honestly, it is not that this is a service that was designed to pray unto God, I won’t come to this gathering. I have a reason to protect my family, friend, loved ones. This pandemic has confused the entire world. It has destroyed the economy. So what makes you think that it cannot overwhelm us?

“My admonition to the church is that we must not exhibit recklessness and tell our people the truth and ask them to do the proper things so that they can stay safe for their families, communities and for the body of Christ”.

Mustapha said the national response that the government has put in place was intended to protect Nigerians.

“It is not designed to afflict us. Every step we have taken as a presidential task force has been intended to provide for the good and welfare of the citizens”, he added.

Delivering his message, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Reverend Ignatius Kaigama, said: “as Christians, even in tough and challenging times we should know that God is in charge and than our thoughts.

“In the wake of disasters or grave danger, the tendency is to pray feverishly but as soon as it passes, we retum to ground zero of prayer.

“Obviously, this is a classic case of panic spirituality; we must not run to God only when in the face of danger. God gives us 168 hours a week; 1440 minutes a day, how much time do we spend in conversation with Him? Yet we spend far more time watching television, speaking to friends on the phone or engage in social media activities.

“Social distancing does not mean distance from God or to come to Him only when there is “fire on the mountain”, Neither does it mean that we pray so much to God whom we cannot see, but neglect to do good to the neighbours we see.

The Executive Secretary of NIREC, Reverend Cornelius Omonokhua noted that the interdenominational prayers aligned with the duty of NIREC to support the efforts of the Federal Government.

General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Joseph Daramola urged the PTF to review and increase the timing of worship, adding that the one hour that was given is not enough.

He admonished Christians to adhere to government protocols on COVID-19 and always pray no matter the situation for God to continue to intervain and put an end to COVID-19.

Many religious leaders led prayer sessions against the pandemic and for peace in the country.

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