The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has said that it is worrisome that some Christians exhibit reckless confidence in the face of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
Mustapha who spoke at the Interdenominational Church Prayer Service, organised by the Nigeria Interreligious Council (NIREC) in Abuja on Sunday evening, said all Nigerians must realize that the pandemic has come to stay.
Particularly, the SGF called on Church leaders to be at the vanguard of enlightening their followers on the truth about the deadly virus and how they can stay safe in their families and communities.
Speaking about stay at home directive by various governments, Mustapha who doubles as the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, said: “If you have no business going out, stay at home, it is scriptural and I will undertone this with a quotation from Proverbs 14:16 where the bible says the Wise are cautious and avoid danger, fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence. 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.
“My admonition to the church is that we must stop the exhibition of reckless confidence 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 also stressed that the national response that the federal government has put in place was intended to protect the people of Nigeria.
“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.
In his message, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Reverend Ignatius Kaigama, described the mundane efforts to combat Coronavirus by Christians without drawing closer to God as panic spirituality.
He said: “As Christians, even in tough and challenging times we should know that God is in charge and more than we think
“In the wake of disasters or grave danger, the tendency is to pray feverishly, but as soon as it passes, we return 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 engaged 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.
“Social distancing does not mean being cold, insensitive, indifferent or antisocial towards others”.
Earlier, Executive Secretary NIREC, Reverend Cornelius Omonokhua, noted that the interdenominational prayers aligned with the duty of NIREC to support the efforts of the Federal Government.