COVID-19: FCTA, religious leaders parley on support for poor residents

By Daniel Tyokua

The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has commenced discussions with religious leaders on how to provide support for the poor residents in the territory, when the need arise.

Malam Mohammad Musa Bello said his administration would work closely with religious organisations in the provision of humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable members of the society.

Bello disclosed this in a meeting he held with the leaders of the Christian and Muslim faith in the nation’s capital.

He said: “religious organisations should be in the forefront for humanitarian activities, particularly if the situation escalates to a point where there is the need for massive support for the poor and the vulnerable members of the society.

A statement issued by Anthony Ogunleye, chief press secretary to the minister, said the traditional institutions and religious leaders have organized structures that can be used and mobilized towards providing palliatives that will ease the problems of the poorer members of the communities.

The Minister also disclosed that as part of resolutions reached during the meeting, religious, traditional and political leaders will galvanize and mobilize individuals of means within the communities “so that we can create a very wide structure of safety net for our poor people”.

On the measures already taken by the Administration and the level of compliance by the public, the Minister thanked all residents of the FCT for the massive support given the Administration and acknowledged that the level of awareness about the pandemic in the satellite areas was gradually improving but reiterated that there was the need for discipline amongst residents of the FCT in complying with laid down measures for success to be achieved.

He said “for us to really fight this pandemic, every person has to be disciplined to comply with the regulations of periodic and constant handwashing with soap and water and alternatively, hand sanitizers.”

The Minister also disclosed that the religious leaders agreed that it was imperative in these uncertain times to intensify prayers for divine intervention in the face of the COVID 19 pandemic.

“we’ve also agreed that in times like this, prayers are paramount. So, we are appealing to all residents and citizens of the FCT to continue to pray to God Almighty for us to get over this pandemic. The leaders of the two religious groups have assured us that they will use their internal network to encourage individual prayers by their followers wherever they are, based on already established protocol for such prayers by all the religious organisations”

He however decried instances were some residents despite all the awareness being created on the need to remain indoors, were still moving around and emphasized that monitoring and enforcement teams already mobilized will continue based on stakeholders engagement to encourage people to stay indoors.

Bello said that the at the level of government extant measures which include the closure of markets except sections that deal with foodstuff and medicines, the closure of all commercial operations by 9pm, the closure of schools and the stay at home directive for civil servants on grade level 12 and below will still remain at home.

The meeting had in attendance, the FCT Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria Rev. Samson Jonah, the Chairman, FCT League of Imams Dr Tajudeen Adigun, former AMAC Chairman, Hon. Zaphaniah Jisalo , other religious leaders as well as senior members of the FCTA management.

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