Covid-19

‘We need home grown solution to tackle Covid-19’

‘We need home grown solution to tackle Covid-19’ 1


As the country gradually eases the three-month old lockdown due to Covid-19, Presiding Bishop of Holy Ghost Mission (Happy Family Centre), Bishop Charles Ighele, spoke to Adeola Ogunlade about his perception of the lock down, leadership displays by public officials, the place of God in tackling Covid-19 and the need for a home grown solution to the pandemic

 

WHAT is your perception about the Coronavirus pandemic and the lock down that has ravage the world in the last three months?

Three months down the line, it is evident that the pandemic is real and from the beginning, I knew that it is real and is a plague like some other plague that have come before and then, those that will still come again in fulfillment of the signs of the end time. This one has come and is still there. It is real. Also, I was able to discover different times of leaders, Presidents, Prime Ministers of nations, Governors of states and the way they reacted in Nigeria and other countries. I saw that there are some leaders who handle the matter of the plague very well and they provider leadership in place of fear.

If a leader is leading out of fear, there will be a problem; there will be no hope for the people. A leader must not lead the people out of fear even if there is a problem, a leader gives people hope. I am not saying that the problem should be played down, because if you played it down, you are deceiving the people. Leaders must let the people know that there is a problem, and proffer solutions on how to overcome it.  In some of the states in Nigeria, it is evident that the lock down was done out of fear, so the fear went down from the leaders to the people.

I also saw that some leaders were listening to a lot to locally and international news outlets whose job was to broadcast what was happening and then, you know that in journalism, bad news sells more than good news. So, many headlines were about the disaster and the tragedies around Coronavirus. So, even when some people were given hope the hope were dashed. Do you know that some leaders and governors were fed with some of the news from these stations and they now pass it down the fear to the people. Some of the lock down were done out of fear and not out of any realization of what do we do as a nation to provide a home grown solution. So, some acted out of fear and ignorance.

Also, some leaders were ready to bring home grown solution and handle the fear and see how the economy will go on a little and not totally lock down. The United State of America President, some Governors in USA and some leaders in other countries acted that way. Yet, there were some leaders who try to balance it and see what is peculiar to their nature to handle the pandemic, what I called the homegrown solution. The total lock down is not a home grown solution. Thirdly, another set of leaders, all they gave to their people was only hope as if nothing was happening, whereas something was really happening. The pandemic was there. It is a scam for those leaders to says nothing was happening whereas the pandemic was there ravaging among the people.  If you are a leaders, am a spiritual leaders, I know what I did to provide leadership for my people in the churches that I pastor. I had to use a leadership style on what to do to stand with the understanding that there is a problem and how to handle it. I learnt how to stay emotionally and spiritually.

In your study of plagues in the past, is there any similarity or different with Coronavirus?

The difference is that like the Bubonic plague of 1336, the way its killed people cannot be compared with Coronavirus. Its killed people like Mosquitoes. People were dyeing and recovery rate of the previous plagues were very low but this Coronavrius plague pandemic, the recovery is very high.

Then, I also I found that with this plague and another plagues was that while people in some nations died more, only few people in other countries died. There was a plague that was taken from United Kingdom to the United State of America, and unfortunate many people who contacted the virus in USA died whereas, the Europeans that brought it, only few died. That gave me a similar idea about this Coronavirus.

I know that the number of infected persons and casualty recorded in Nigeria is way below the mark in Nigeria. Like the President Task Force said that in the Eastern part of the country, not much testing is being done.

From what I know and hear, the casualty is by far more than it’s expected. Coronavirus arrived in the US not long its came to Nigeria, how come, over 100,000 have died in the US and we don’t have that figure here in Nigeria. Then, we can say that America population is more than that of Nigeria but why UK with a lesser population had by far death than Nigeria with a bigger population. While in India with 1.2 billion people had recorded only about 8,884 death. Why is it so. As far as I am concerned, leadership in these nations should put our head together and asked why it is so and way are we going.  In my thinking, my mind went to Malaria.

Do we need to develope homegrown solutions to some of our public health challenge?

Why is that the malaria rate is so high in Nigeria that in most hospitals most of the patients there are people down with malaria or Typhoid fever. I am not advocating that we should not spend our time on doing research on Coronavirus but let governments do something and come out with drugs that can treat malaria that will be nonresistance. We need more research and attention to malaria.

Nigeria is one of the headquarters of malaria sickness in the whole world, then, let us have home grown solutions and we should stop imported drugs from the Arabian countries. Many of the drugs will import from those countries are resistance, let government if they really care about our people, let them go and research on why and what can be done to produce nonresistance drugs to treat malaria so people don’t died of malaria

Your constituency which is the church and has been locked down for few months; I know you and some other church leaders are averse to this lock down of the church? Why?

The people have different perception about the church. There are churches set up by man to make money, and some of them become famous. There are also churches set by Satan and there are churches that have power and some that lack power. In all these, there remains a genuine church of Christ.  Jesus said that I will build my church and the gate of hell shall not prevail against it. I am saying that the genuine church of Christ is there. I want to say very clearly that some governors acted beyond their powers.  The government is man-made and should know where is power is. The bible says give unto Caesar what is Caesar and to God, what is God. I want some of them to think again, some of them reacted out of fear.

They should have call the church leaders and ask them what to do. I know some church leaders are friends to some Governors and some governors equally consulted some of the church leaders on whether or not to lock down the church but those church leaders who reacted out of fear advice that the church be locked down. See the President of Tanzanian, who is a medical doctor, with a PHD in Chemistry recently congratulated the church leaders in His country, saying that they prayed for the people selflessly. And then, the effect of it in Tanzania was very minimal.

He told the people take Holy Communion but in Nigeria, it was a different bulk game. When the governor says don’t give Holy Communion, you are going beyond your power. Instead, allow the church leaders to look for ways to give Holy Communion without large gathering. Give to Cesar to Cesar and to God, what is to God. In the midst of the Black Death plague that happened in the 1347, as the people were dying. King George called on the church to continue to pray. Some Governor think that prayer cannot do anything but when it comes to contesting election, they will say please pray for me.

I want to state here that as the government in finding solution to the pandemic should also consult the church for solution. There are lots of people who are positive with Coronavirus and they are getting their healing. We must seek God in our search for solution to this pandemic. God cannot fail when we call on him for help.



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