The Cherubim and Seraphim (C&) Church has condemned the failure of the Buhari administration to provide cash and food items to the majority of Nigerians amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
Their position was contained in a statement on Sunday by Head of the Pastors’ Council, Moses Ademola Popoola.
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, after the burial of his late Chief of Staff, re-echoed his appeal to Nigerians to maintain social distancing.
But the C&S Movement said it was unfortunate that despite the extension across states, Nigeria, which it described as the “Giant of Africa”, was not doing anything about palliatives for the citizens.
The Church also lamented that Nigeria’s testing capacity has been abysmally low, and this might pose a huge challenge as the country was not sure of its true status.
“It is somewhat shameful to observe that countries such as Ghana, Egypt and South Africa are conducting more tests. The only way to stop the spread of the virus is to identify those who are infected through testing.
“While the aforementioned countries with lesser populations are aggressively conducting tests, Nigeria is doing hers with kid gloves.
This lukewarm approach endangers the nation. More so, it mocks the stay-at-home order of the authorities.
“In addition, the government must ensure proper handling of the palliatives as Nigerians are already groaning from the economic effects of the lockdown. It must improve its distribution and ensure that funds and food items are not diverted.
“Our government needs to do more in terms of openness in the way the palliatives are distributed to Nigerians.
The stimulus packages shared to the poor and vulnerable in communities have been short of expectations.
“We need to appreciate that operating a largely informal economy means people will find it difficult to feed without working for a day.
The lockdown order has kept them away from their sources of livelihood for days and the palliatives being shared cannot sustain.
“While the government is trying to solve the virus problem, it is also unconsciously creating hunger challenges without the provision of adequate stimulus package for the poor.”
The Church pointed out that untold economic hardships are beginning to tell on Nigerians and urged the government at all levels to adequately provide for the poor.
C&S stressed that Nigeria operates a market economy where most people earn their living on a daily basis and are spending money without any earnings.
“There should be relief economic packages for civil servants too as most of them survive on loans from banks and co-operative societies.
The government should come up with plans to ensure workers do not use most of their post-COVID-19 earnings on loan repayments.”
The statement commended federal, state governments for their efforts aimed at flattening the curve and advised all Nigerians to comply with government directives on coronavirus as well as keep the world in their prayers.