By Adeola Badru
THE President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), Reverend Olasupo Ayokunle has called on churches and their leaders to embark on charitable gestures during this Coronavirus pandemic, in order to alleviate the suffering of those vulnerable to the lockdown order imposed by the government.
Ayokunle made the call on Monday when he led other members of the Baptist church to Oyo State Secretariat, Ibadan, to donate COVID-19 relief materials to the state government.
He, similarly, used the medium to commend the federal and state governments for their efforts in containing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
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Speaking further, Ayokunle, who doubles as President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said no little gesture was too small at a time like this, urging churches, especially, denominations to rise up and show mercy, noting this was one of the main reasons for the existence of the church in any part of the world.
He said: “We rejoice with those who are rejoicing; we weep with those who are weeping. Some people cannot access their businesses and live on what they are able to make daily and they can’t go out because there is death outside.”
“So, we need to understand this and all the churches need to help the government in getting these materials to them.”
“No little gesture is too small at a time like this. We did this to provoke all churches, especially denominations to rise up and show mercy, as this is one of the main reasons for the existence of the church in any part of the world,” Rev’d Ayokunle said.
He was particularly impressed that in spite of COVID-19 being a novel virus, government at various levels had shown proactiveness in curbing the spread of the virus.
“This is a virus that nobody is an expert on because it’s a new virus. So their efforts to contain it is commendable.
“Even the Secretary-General of the United Nations has commended the Nigerian government for the way the pandemic has been handled, noting that some developed nations of the world didn’t show this proactiveness of the Nigerian government.”
“So kudos to the government both at the federal and state levels,” Ayokunle said.
Receiving the items, the Executive Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Agribusiness, Mr Debo Akande assured that the state government would regularly give an account of donations received and those to whom they are distributed.
He highlighted the importance of every little donation to the state government, demanding other religious bodies to follow suit.