The Diocesan Bishop of Lagos, Anglican Communion, the Rt. Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye has called on the Federal Government not to impose another lockdown in the country amid the second wave of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The Bishop, who lamented the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses, families and socio-economic life of the citizens, stated this in his New Year message obtained on Thursday.
He advised the government to evolve ways of mitigating hunger and poverty in the land rather than worsening the tense situation in the country.
He added, “One obvious and indisputable fact is that year 2020 was unprecedented in the lives of this generation. It came with lots of challenges globally and affected all aspects of human lives. In our nation, Nigeria, it was particularly biting as socialisation, which is a major lifestyle, became redefined. Jobs were lost and means of livelihood threatened as a result of biting recession. However, in the midst of the seeming tales of woes are positives that we must take with us into the year 2021.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself,’ “‘The LORD is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him. “The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; Lamentations 3:22-25.
A major positive is that the global events allowed the children of God to spend more time with God and thereby understood their full dependence on God to live a meaningful life. We all can see clearly that our living is by the mercy of God. The word of God as contained in Psalms 127 that except the Lord watches over a city, the watchman keeps watch in vain, became very real. Indeed, it is only by the mercy of God that we are not consumed.
Yet another very crucial and important positive from the global challenge of 2020 is the glaring realization that as humans we are not created only for ourselves but for the purpose of God through genuine and affectionate concern for others. The world becomes a better place to live not because we have so much but because we give so much. The good that we do to others, especially those unknown to us and unable to repay us, brings greater harmony and joy to our environment and increases our inner contentment and fulfillment. We must always be mindful of the fact that the Lord expects us to be a light to a world in darkness and so we are not expecting to become part of the increasing evil in the world but rather to show a better way of doing things in the midst of the rottenness.
It is on this score that I am appealing to all of us not to dwell on our problems as a nation, but rather on the only trustworthy solution provider, our ever-faithful God. Let us be mindful of our negative proclamations on the nation. It will never solve but will rather increase our problems. There is so much to be angry and worried about in the nation because the people in charge are imperfect, so we need to daily pray that God will perfect them with His Spirit and they will subsequently surrender to His will which will lead to overall rejoicing. It is an unfailing truism that God will never turn His back on the fervent prayers of His faithful children. The prayers of the faithful availeth much.
As the second wave of the COVID-19 is spreading, we strongly advise the government not to think of second lockdown, rather look for better ways of maintaining the safety protocols till we recover from this pandemic. There is palpable anger in the land because of poverty, many people have also lost fortune this year due to the pandemic and several others vehemently doubt the reality of the virus. As such, to forestall avoidable protest that may be worse than the ENDSARS protest, the government should try to manage the situation in the best ways possible to enable the people to live their normal lives.
I call upon all of us to resolve to make Nigeria which is our Jerusalem greater in the year 2021 because we have nowhere else to call our nation. Our diversity should be our strength as it affords us a variety so please let us take advantage of it and stop joining others to spread hatred and division as we alone will be the victims of all negative impact on our land.
I call upon all in position of leadership starting with our President to realize that all powers belong to God; and those to whom He gives it to as a privilege, they should realize that it comes with responsibilities, as they will render a full account. I plead with them to stop all selfishness and embrace selflessness in order to get the approval of God and man. Power is very transient but the impact and effect on those on which it is wielded remains unforgettable whether it is for good or for bad. All men in leadership positions should strive to leave a lasting positive legacy.
I know for a fact that 2021 is blessed because the Lord has promised never to leave nor forsake us. I therefore pray for an overflow of God’s blessings upon us and all that are ours in 2021. As a servant of the living God, I declare that our nation will be filled with surprisiny victory throughout the year 2021. Happy new year to you all.
The Rt. Rev. Humphery Bamisebi Olumakaiye, Ph.D(Ibadan)
Diocesan Bishop of Lagos Anglican Communion)
Happy New Year 2021!