The Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev Callistus Onaga on Wednesday, enjoined Nigerians to ensure strict observance of COVID-19 protocols government had put in place to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country while celebrating Christmas.
Onaga, who spoke in Enugu while presenting his Christmas message to journalists, said it would not take us any extra thing to observe the protocols which is simply by washing our hands regularly, wear face masks and maintain physical distance whenever in public places.
The cleric said that looking at the second wave of coronavirus with the new Covid-19 variant in United Kingdom that has been described to spread 70 per cent faster that the initial one, Nigeria maybe close to another kind of lockdown which he noted would not be good for our economy.
He said if this is happening amidst the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ who came to redeem man, then God may probably trying to call attention of humanity to himself.
“Since this great disease has defiled human efforts and human science and continue to presume. In Europe we understand that people are told to restrict their normal family celebration to just about five members of the family. Now it is a question of don’t even visit a family.
“Unfortunately, my dear people of Nigeria we are taken God’s graciousness for granted, we are taken God’s love for granted because we are not doing what we are supposed to do to help the things God has provided for us. We know how our medical outfit is here in Nigeria. We know how poor we are as a people and as a nation but God has decided not to bring full force of this pandemic on us.
“We are required to do the normal things everybody will do, take necessary precautions because prevention they say is better than cure.”
He added, “just this morning I was sitting with a group and they mentioned a man that people came for a burial in his house in Anambra, now the man is down, the wife is down and the daughter is down. All those who attended that very burial just fortnight ago are all down of coronavirus.
“Some are saying if Christ loves us he will protect us as he has been protecting us, well and good; he is protecting us but we have to really put our hands, he is God and capable of everything.
“We shouldn’t take things for granted. We should help by observing the normal things that are done. If for any reason God is preventing us let us help ourselves because even the intelligence to produce and find out things disturbing us is as well the handiwork of God.
“So while I say happy Christmas to everybody I am appealing to Nigerians, I am appealing to all those concerned it will not cost us anything extra to observe the National Centre for Disease Control protocols – to wash your hands often, wear facemasks while in public, keep physical distance any time you are outside.
“Let not put God into temptations although we know he is God the Almighty but let us not try him like the devil tried to do at the temptation 40 days and 40 night that said if you are God save us from coronavirus. Remember the reply thou shall not tempt the Lord your God'”.