The Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, Ignatius Kaigama, on Saturday distributed items worth millions of Naira to vulnerable Nigerians to cushion the effect of the Covid-19 lockdown.
President Muhammadu Buhari had three weeks ago ordered a lockdown in the nation’s capital as well as in Lagos and Ogun states to check the spread of the Coronavirus.
ExpressDay recalls that Archbishop Kaigama during his homily on Palm Sunday Mass televised by several channels promised to give out food items and monetary gifts he received during last Christmas and during the Catedraticum as palliatives to the needy.
Speaking at the first phase of the distribution in Abuja, Kaigama said that this difficult period required goodwill and show of love to minimise the hardship and suffering of vulnerable people.
He said the palliatives would support rural parishes, prisons and orphanage during the novel coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
Kaigama expressed optimism that the government would support the church’s effort in alleviating the challenges faced by the vulnerable and less privileged citizens.
The cardinal also charged organisations and philanthropists to intensify efforts in reaching out to the poor around them in these trying times.
According to him, “These palliatives that will be going out, is not about tribe, religion, age, gender or class, rather it is for humanity. So let’s do the best we can from our hearts.
“What we are giving out today was donated by the people of God in the Church and not from the government, we are still optimistic that government will reach out with some relief, as we have not received anything from the government,” he said.
The archbishop noted that the world was “fighting a war but a very different kind of war and it’s no deceit, it is very real and it will cripple us in many ways.”
“You can see how our social lives are crumbling; the economy is degenerating and religious gatherings are now impossible. There are going to be consequences, so we must all be part of this war.
“We must understand it and protect ourselves, let us move forward with faith, trust, hope and confidence that we can overcome Covid-19 pandemic. Let no one deceive himself or herself, Coronavirus is real and is a threat to humanity and everything we stand for,” he added.
Also speaking, the President of the Catholic Women Organisation, Abuja Archdiocese, (CWOAA), Mrs. Mary Imaezue said the CWO in the Archdiocese would raise N4 million to assist indigent and vulnerable members.
She explained that the association felt the pains of its members and wished to offer some palliatives to help the indigent members, especially Parishes in more vulnerable areas.
Imaezue said her organisation would contribute the sum of N500,000 which would be drawn from its purse, to the project and appealed to Catholic faithful, spirited individuals and parishes which were yet to assist their needy members to key into the project.