Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has enjoined the people of the state to look beyond the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world to the Cross of Calvary for help and salvation.
Emmanuel gave the admonition on Sunday in a statewide broadcast tagged ‘ ‘What Affects One, Affects All’ to commemorate Easter in the State.
The governor urged the people to look unto God for help even as this year’s Easter celebration is happening at a time when most of the world is in a lockdown as a result of COVID-19.
He enjoined the people to bridge the gap of social distancing with the cords of God’s love in sharing foods and groceries with neighbours, praying that those who had already contracted the virus would recover soon.
The governor further commended the medical and security personnel for their contributions and efforts to rid the state of the virus and added that the lockdown and other measures already announced in his previous broadcast to combat the virus remained, adding that people would be notified when those measures would be relaxed.
The text reads in parts, “This season of love and sacrifice has come at a time when most of the world is in a lockdown as a result of the need to stop mankind from being consumed by the fatal fangs of one of the most virulent pandemics in recent history – COVID-19. The times have given us a new lexicon or a new-fangled phrase – social distancing, but thankfully, not love distancing.
”We should, therefore, ensure that not one person in our neighbourhood is deprived of this essential ingredient by this lockdown which circumstances have forced upon us. Let us bridge the gap of social distancing with the cords of God’s love in sharing our foods and groceries with our neighbours.
“We thank you, my dear compatriots, for your understanding and cooperation in this determined fight to rid our State of this virus, COVID-19. It has never happened in our lifetime that free citizens have had to be locked down in their homes, their freedom of movement curtailed and social interaction which is the basis of our communal life stopped. It is unthinkable that our Churches, businesses, offices and shops have been closed down. This is indeed a huge sacrifice. We thank you for enduring the pains. But you must remember that this season offers all of us in this lockdown the opportunity to look up to God for help and lock our faith in Him perpetually.
“What affects one person directly affects all indirectly. The reverse side of this coin is that over 2,000 years ago, the crucifixion of a righteous, innocent man at Calvary between two thieves spread the message of God’s love throughout the length and breadth of the world, giving hope to mankind and bringing peace and goodwill to humanity. What affected one person at Golgotha, has affected all of us indirectly and positively. Let us, therefore, look beyond COVID-19 to Calvary’s Cross for our help and salvation.
“Let this Easter season remind us that we serve an omnipotent God whose steadfast love and tender mercies can never cease. Let us remember that as Jesus triumphed over death, we will also triumph over every agent of death including COVID-19.
“To our sons and daughters who are at the battlefront of our fight to rid our State of this virus, we salute your courage and appreciate the risks that you are taking to keep our society safe. We also salute the security personnel for maintaining the peace and security in our dear State, standing under the scorching sun.
“This may not be a happy Easter for them, but we know that as God rewarded the midwives of Egypt for their kindness to the children of Israel, He will reward every one of them with immeasurable blessings and protection. Let us pray for their safety and strength. Let us pray for the recovery of those who have contacted the virus and are receiving treatment.
“As your Leader, I feel your pain. What affects you affects me and what affects me, affects you. The death of any Akwa Ibom person diminishes me. That is why we are fighting this COVID-19 pandemic with all the weapons at our arsenal. We trust God, that at the end of the day, not one Akwa Ibom person will die from this pandemic.
“Because your headache is my headache, and what ails or afflicts you also afflicts me, I have made elaborate plans for relief materials to be given to our people across the State. The food items, such as Flour were sourced from our flour mill, the rice, from our rice mills in Ini and Garri from our processing plants located in all the senatorial districts of the state. At the same time, our syringe manufacturing company has risen to the occasion producing medical consumables to meet the rising demands of the time. This, again, is the testament to our vision in health care delivery.
“After this pandemic is gone, we will all look up to the hills and wonder from whence came our help. We would testify that our help came from the Only God who made Heaven and Earth. Who did not allow our foot to be moved? Now is the time to reflect on Jesus Christ and wait upon Him, knowing that they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. I call on our people to remain united and eschew all forms of bitterness and hatred.”