-As Some Churches Flout Facemask, Social Distancing Order
-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) – From Michael EKOKORUWE:
The President and General Overseer of New Testimony Gospel Church, Oleh, Isoko South local government area of Delta State, Primate Dr. Moses Ogbodogbo (JP) has affirmed religious leaders total compliance to directives of the lockdown by Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta State, to curtail the spread of COVID 19 pandemic in Isoko South as the government relaxes restriction on places of worship in the area.
Primate Ogbodogbo made the statement at Oleh, Isoko South local government area of Delta State while fielding questions from journalists on the role of the church in curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world as global emergency.
However, a visit round some churches in Oleh and environs revealed that members of different denominations, during Sundays worship, failed to wear facemasks and the social distancing order was flouted as sitting arrangements remained the same.
Meanwhile, Primate of New Testimony Gospel Church said, “Since the lockdown, we have been obeying government directives, washing our hands with soap and water, there has been no church service, we send food items to our members and others especially the less privileged in the streets”.
He stated that it is the role of medical doctors to treat COVID 19 positive patients in government built teaching hospitals even as government has invested money in such isolation centers to care for all positive cases of the virus.
He warned pastors to be very careful to quickly identify COVID 19 victims if brought to them for prayers, but however noted that pastors can only pray and God will heal, saying, “We believe that if we call upon the name of God, the pandemic will go away”.
Primate Ogbodogbo condemned the attitude of some pastors that published the account numbers of the church and asked members to pay their offerings and tithes.
He said, “I never supported that members should pay tithe online. In my church, we withdrew money to buy food items and share to members, they can’t go to work and looking for what to eat, and then you asked them to send tithe”.
The clergyman disclosed that, on 17th of January 2020, during his usual one month prayer, God opened his eyes and he saw what is happening now, saying, “God will save us from the problem that has come to Nigeria and the world; people will lock doors against themselves and our streets will be deserted”.
He continued,” God gave me directive on what to do to members of my church; I anointed them and pray that God will save us from the pandemic that has come to Nigeria and the world. I and other men of God also went round and consecrated the land of Isoko with oil so that the pandemic will not come to Isoko Land”
Primate Ogbodogbo urged Christians to learn from the COVID 19 pandemic experience as countries, states and communities were lockdown with difficulties and juxtapose with the judgment day of rapture that will be more dangerous than the present situation.
He maintained that, when God’s judgment will come, many will run helter skelter, adding that while some people will be rejoicing, others will be lamenting on the last day.
Ogbodogbo noted that COVID 19 pandemic experience has enough lessons for Christians to learn and prepare for the judgment day.