By Omeiza Ajayi
A religious freedom advocacy group, the Christians Right Agenda, CRA, has challenged Islamic organisations in the country, particularly the Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, the Jammatul Nasri Islam, JNI, and others to emulate Christian religious organisations that have donated resources towards the fight against the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19.
In a statement by its Interim Director of Publicity, the CRA said: “We commend all those who have made contributions to help in managing the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hereby appreciate all the churches and other Christian bodies who rose to the occasion of donating cash and equipment.
“It is a well-considered view of CRA that all religious groups must rise to the occasion and emulate the Christian Church at this critical period;
“That specifically such religious groups as MURIC, JNI, the Izala, etc, should come out at this point to show the love that all religions of the world preach. We challenge them to draw a line between humanity and politics.”
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The CRA which said it has viewed with concern, developments surrounding the management of COVID-19 and matters arising therefrom, added that it was disheartening that after weeks of intense agitation, President Mohammadu Buhari, made a national broadcast that has attracted mixed feelings among the Nigerian populace.
According to the group, it is curious that more than 72 hours after the long-awaited national broadcast, majority of Nigerians are still to come to terms with most of the policy statements that did not seem to be well thought out.
“For instance, up till this moment, neither the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs nor the entire COVID-19 management committee has shown a clear direction on who constitutes the ‘poor and vulnerable’ in our society.
“Again, Mr President’s directive on school feeding programme is rather confusing, especially when viewed against the backdrop of the current closure of all schools across the country. CRA wonders which school feeding programme Mr. President was referring to, or if that was an important issue in the face of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
“President Muhammadu Buhari and his team should go back to the drawing board to think out better strategies for handling the pandemic.
“That as much as human isolation appears to be the best way yet to curtail the spread of the virus, lack of a well-defined policy to ameliorate the attendant challenge of isolation can lead to greater problems. This is because a lot of Nigerians live by daily earnings;
“That government should, as a matter of urgency, make test kits available to every Nigerian because there is no other way of knowing those infected. Government’s decision to lockdown Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states, as a worse hit, is too simplistic if test kits are only available to politicians and celebrities;
“The National Assembly should, as a matter of urgency, invoke the doctrine of necessity, and resume sitting. The parliaments of other nations didn’t close shop.
“While CRA is keenly watching developments, all Nigerians are enjoined to stay safe and remain law-abiding as all our senior pastors nationwide have been directed to commence a 21- day fasting and prayer to seek the face of God at this critical period in world history”, the group added.