By Seriki Adinoyi
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has admonished Christians in the state not to despair over the decision by government to lock down the entire state during the Easter festival which commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, noting that “the times warrant this”.
He said this Friday at the flag-off of the fumigation of the state, held at the Terminus roundabouts in Jos.
Lalong said: “Ordinarily, we should not be doing an event like this on a Good Friday, but the times warrant this, and we continue to appeal for the patience and understanding of our citizens.
“For our Christian brothers and sisters, let us use this Solemn Easter Friday to cry unto God within our homes to show us mercy and remove this pandemic.
“Like Archbishop Jose Gomez, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said: ‘Our churches may be closed, but Christ is not quarantined and his Gospel is not in chains. Even though we cannot worship together, each of us can seek God in the tabernacles of our hearts’.”
To the Muslim faithful, the governor said: “Similarly, our Muslim brethren should also use this day to offer solemn Zuhur prayers in their homes for God to intervene and save us from this calamity.”
While appealing to all citizens to abide by the lockdown directive in order to make the work of law enforcement officers easier, the governor said: “We do not want to hear of ugly cases of harsh enforcement.”
Reassuring the people that government will soon roll out palliative measures to assist the weak and vulnerable amongst us, Lalong said: “With God on our side, this situation will not last long and very soon, we shall bounce back and resume normal life. All we need is patience and prayers.”
Noting that there is no case of the infection in Plateau at the moment, the governor said however said that government has taken several steps aimed at ensuring that the disease does not come into the state.
According to him, “We have also been preparing in the unfortunate event if any case is recorded in Plateau State so that we can respond appropriately. We cannot relax; we have to remain vigilant and proactive.
“In addition to the fumigation, the lockdown will also help reduce any tendency for inter-state transfer of the disease and enable us respond appropriately to any suspected case and contact tracing.”