At Easter, Christians all over the world come together in celebration of the redemption of man through Jesus Christ. Although, he was blameless, Jesus Christ accepted to die to reconcile man to God.
At Easter, humanity is called to partake in the friendship and blessings of the trinity: God the father, God the son, and God the holy spirit. Families and friends come together to share, in happiness, the salvation news that comes with this reunion of man with God, his creator.
Sadly but with great hope, the 2020 Easter has come amidst mixed feelings. Our society has been strained to it’s breaking limits with many who are now sick or dead from COVID 19 pandemic.
As it is expected of a people’s Government, our Governor and Government are aware of the sufferings on the land.
We have watched as our social values, acquired through years of human civilizations, have been turned into weapons of death against us. We are advised to avoid handshakes or hugging. We cannot kiss or peck one another as usual. We cannot associate in sports or in the usual meetings that are vital for our businesses to grow. Our schools are closed and churches are deserted. Today, our people are literarily worshiping our God in ‘hiding’.
Family visits are discouraged. Many in our country have been forcefully taken away from their home and love by way of forced isolation in far away lands while others have done so at home by way of a difficult volitional duty to the state.
While we endure all these, families and individuals have seen their businesses ruined in the lock down. Painfully too, those who could feed themselves yesterday are dependent on handouts today.
All these notwithstanding, I bring you messages of hope: that we shall overcome these tough times. Our Government has been with Cross Riverians all along.
His Excellency, Sen Prof Ben Ayade has continued to monitor events with clinical attention. In his belief that life is our greatest assets, governor Ayade has continued to take steps to prevent the emergence of a COVID 19 case in Cross River state. In line with guidelines from the WHO and NCDC, the governor announced the stay at home executive order, border closure, closure of schools as well as ban on all non essential gatherings in the state. We have been told to wash our hands regularly with soap and water and to use alcohol based hand sanitizers when and where the earlier are absent.
Other executive actions announced by His Excellency so far includes the social distancing and lately, the compulsory wearing of nose masks in Cross River state. Governor Ayade has similarly equipped isolation and treatment centres which are at various states of readiness, should a COVID 19 case be found in our population. Given that the novel disease has not treatment or vaccines, the governor has eloquently emphasized his preference for a Post – pandemic “COVID 19 – free” Cross River State by taking many personal actions.
For instance, Ayade has personally manned our various interstate and international borders, in rotations with our security operatives, to enforce their closure against those whose visit threaten our health.
Government has maintained the policy of the distributions of free nose masks, free food items and other social palliative measures which are now ready for distribution, within the week, to our citizens in all the wards in the state. The purpose is to lessen the deprivations and sufferings associated with the prevailing lockdown, especially for those whose trades remain in the prohibition list as well as other vulnerable populations in our communities who lack independent livelihood.
Finally, as a responsible government, we respect the views of citizens who have taken critical view of our responses so far. We promise to continuously improve our public messaging and to maintain consistency on the various safe behaviours advise that will remain valid means to prevent a COVID 19 case detection in Criss River state.
Thank you and God bless you all. Happy Easter.
Dr. Ushie, D. Edem.
Special Adviser to the governor on Health.