Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN) donated food materials to over 500 households in Durumi community and its surroundings in Abuja (federal capital of Nigeria), as part of measures to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Secretary General of CCFN, Rev. Fr. Zacharia Samjumi, said Nigerians must be each other’s brother keeper and that helping the needy is also helping the society.
According to him, the beneficiaries were carefully selected and they were mostly people who lived on daily income and that with the 14-day lockdown and its extension for another 14 days, there is need to help the needy who were hard-hit by the lockdown, no matter how small. He said the organisation a week earlier shared food items to over 200 households and urged the wealthy in the communities and the country at large to help the needy and other vulnerable at this critical time in the country.
"We think that there are credible organisations that aid like this can go through them to reach the real poor in the society, those who the lockdown has impacted severally. We are calling on the well-to-do Nigerians to reach out through these credible organisations to deliver the aids to the needy", said Fr. Samjumi said.
His Exc, Mgr. Adewale Martins, Archbishop of Lagos, also launched an appeal for solidarity in his homily for the Mass of Divine Mercy in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Lagos, broadcast on television due to the lockdown. "We praise our parishioners who provided for the poor", said Archbishop Martin, who asked those responsible for distributing aid to make sure that it is given to people who actually need it.
Nigeria's authorities have confirmed 86 new coronavirus cases and 21 deaths, for a total of 627 confirmed cases. The authorities have imposed a lockdown in the capital Abuja, Lagos and the States of Ogun and Kano.
Lockdown measures are however difficult to enforce in Nigeria. Law enforcement officers are accused of killing about twenty people for violating the curfew.
In addition, gunmen killed 47 people in attacks on villages in the northwestern Nigerian State of Katsina in the early hours of Saturday April 18, police sources said. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/4/2020)