[By KODILINYE OBIAGWU]
The Deputy Governor of Anambra State Nkem Okeke, has flayed churches in the state for not obeying Covid-19 protocols while warning that Anambra would begin sectoral shut down from next week.
He lamented that the poor attitude of churches and their members towards obeying covid protocols, was the reason traders and traditional rulers were ignoring the protocols.
The deputy governor spoke on Friday at the funeral mass for Ezinne Roseline Chidii Okonkwo, mother of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant, High Chief (Dr.) Obiora Okonkwo.
At the Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church, Ogidi, the venue of the mass, Okeke hailed the bishops, priests and over 95 per cent of the congregation for putting on their face masks, while noting that, “observing social distancing under such circumstances is nearly impossible.”
Okeke, who represented the state governor Willy Obiano at the event, welcomed the several dignitaries, business moguls, political chieftains, retired and incumbent ambassadors and top civil servants, twenty bishops and archbishops, and over 80 priests, “who have come from various parts of the country to honor the Okonkwo family.”
He acknowledged the success the late Roseline Okonkwo made of her life and her legacy, which is testified by the assembled personalities.
According to him, “looking at the array of bishops here alone, I am personally certain that Roseline Okonkwo is already in heaven.”
Okeke observed that “there is always an inclination for people to ignore Covid-19 protocols at public gatherings.”
He noted with a tinge of alarm and regret that there is a rising incidence of Covid in Anambra.
“Covid is real; let’s take it very serious. It doesn’t know relatives, friends or family. People should not take it for granted,” he said, while noting that he has lost two friends and believes many others have lost loved ones to Covid-19.
Noting the trend of people falling ill and suddenly dying, he called for people who feel ill to take Covid tests and stop assuming that every fever is malaria.
He charged church leaders to lead by example and compel their members to follow suit.
The deputy governor advised people not to remove their masks when they want to talk, as this even defeats the reason for the mask.
Obiora Okonkwo assured the deputy governor that “my family has also had its clashes with Covid and we did all we could do to obey the Covid-19 protocols, even holding up the burial.”