Osita Chidoka, a former Minister of Aviation, has said the ongoing lockdown in the country should be extended for more effective containment of the Coronavirus, especially as there was no known cure for it at the moment.
Chidoka, who made the call in his Easter message to Nigerians in Akwa on Saturday, said the lockdown had been effective in checking the spread of COVID-19 in spite of the obvious challenges of hunger, deprivation and worsening economic conditions.
“I want to thank everyone for their efforts so far in adhering to the lockdown.
“I also want to remind everybody that it is not yet time to relax the restrictions as lessons from other countries have shown that a single asymptomatic infected person can spread the disease to thousands.
“This was the case in the funeral in Albany, Georgia, where the virus spread from one person who showed no symptom of the disease to over 200 people in that single gathering,” he said.
“So, opening the churches for Easter service will endanger more people and that will not reflect the love and sacrifice that Easter symbolises.
“In spite of the challenges of the lockdown, it is still a sure way to flatten the curve for the virus.
“Since we have already started, this is not yet time to call off the lockdown.
“I call on state governors and all other stakeholders to come together to encourage us in this season of sacrifice like Christ did on Good Friday,” he said.
Chidoka urged Nigerians to sacrifice for the health and wellbeing of each other, adding that it was out of great love that Christ came to the earth to suffer and save us.
He said though the economy was bad, it was still important that Nigerians continued to demonstrate love.
The former minister enjoined everyone to support the vulnerable people by extending food and financial support to them to cushion the negative impact of the lockdown.
“As such, Nigerians, like all people of goodwill, are called upon to reciprocate that same act of love and selflessness to others.
“Let us still maintain social distance, stay home and use all the virtual means to communicate. We can not afford to congregate in this season.
“At this time, we should practice physical distancing but maintain spiritual nearness,” the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain said.
He congratulated Nigerians for their efforts in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic and urged them to embrace and exhibit the love Christ exemplified through his sufferings and resurrection on Easter.