By Sola Shittu, Gombe
The Deputy Executive Secretary of Caritas Nigeria, Reverend Father Peter Babangida Audu on Tuesday warned Nigerians to be cautious of the third wave of COVID-19 which is already in the African Continent to guard against the spread of the disease.
In a chat with reporters after the advocacy visit to faith-based organisations in Gombe, Audu said Nigerians need to adhere strictly to COVID-19 protocols, especially now that the third wave of the disease is already in Senegal, Zambia and Kenya.
According to him, although the effect of the disease has not been as severe as expected in Africa and no one can give any explanation for this; recent events have shown that places with similar climate with Africa is already recording high cases of COVID-19.
“If at any point we think that COVID-19 has come and gone, I think we may not be realistic with what is happening because we have seen in different countries, different waves. We have seen the first wave, the second wave and now the third wave. We may be thinking that this is not real but for those who have experienced it like me, we know it is real.
“However, that is not to say there are no remedies. We want to be grateful to God for what we have been able to put together to handle the situation but that is not to say COVID-19 is not here,” he said.
He said it is difficult to say why the wave is not serious in Africa, adding that probably like a wave, Africa may be at the end of the shore.
Dr Fatima Fanarima, the Programme Manager of Nigeria Inter-faith Action Association (NIFAA) said the essence of the advocacy to faith leaders is to bring a message of hope to the people of different faith.
“We are here to advocate the Christian Association of Nigeria on the messages of hope. The Messages of Hope is a United States Center for Disease Control initiative been implemented through Caritas Nigeria with support from NIFAA. The essence of the messages of hope is to reinforce the WHO guidelines, clarify myths around COVID-19 and to promote community supports for those who have been affected by COVID-19 and let people know that there is still hope. We can still connect with one another and we can live our lives within the safety of COVID-19,” she said.
She said Caritas chose religious organisations because they are the voices that people trust, adding that people listen to their religious leaders especially in a very religious country such as Nigeria.
The Secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Gombe State, Senior Apostle John Adedigba and Mallam Muritala Abdul Rahaman said they will pass down the messages of hope to the people in their various places of worship and ensure that people continue to adhere to all COVID-19 protocols.