Employ the church as Coronavirus relief distribution channels, Archbishop Ibezim urges govts.
Most Rev. Alexander Ibezim, Bishop, Anglican Dioceses of Awka has called on federal and state governments to involve the church as a veritable channel in the bid to ensure that relief materials meant for the poor reach them.
Ibezim said this while speaking with some journalists in Awka on Sunday.
He commended the effort of Federal and state governments in managing and containing the COVID-19 pandemic from escalating in the country.
He expressed worry about the possibility of relief materials meant for Nigerians to cushion the harsh effect of the pandemic to reach them under the current modalities they are being shared.
Ibezim said the church was community based and remain the fastest and shortest means of contact with the poor in the society adding that the had done a lot in sensitising their members on the prevailing situation.
He advised that the faith based organisations should not be despised for more effectiveness as the lockdown was already taking heavy toll on the people.
“ I want to commend the federal government and the Anambra government under Gov. Willie Obiano on their effort so far especially encouraging people to keep social distancing.
“They have also directed that schools , markets and institutions be closed down, these will help curb this disease.
“I also thank the government on having a team that goes around to educate people on what to do, though they cannot educate everybody, Church leaders among others are taking a cue too.
“But one area which I’m highly concerned as a church leader is what I just read in the media.
“It said the government wants to distribute rice to the communities, well that is commendable, but I hope they’re not sidelining church leaders ,because church is where we have a lot of poor people in this part of the country.
“We know them, Church leaders should be involved because, I have thousands of poor people, even I have already started giving something to them on my own.
“So if government is going to do something, let them not just put us by the side so that my people will not die of hunger in a time like this,” he said.
Archbishop Ibezim held the Palm Sunday service in private where it was streamed live in radio and social media channels.