The Primate of Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, has urged Nigerians, especially Christians to ensure that they were inoculated against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic when general vaccination commences in the country.
Ndukuba said this at the February 2021 Standing Committee meeting of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, which began on Feb. 8 and ended on Feb. 14, with a church service at the All Saints’ Cathedral, Onitsha, Anambra.
A full text of speech delivered at the meeting obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday quoted Ndukuba as saying that many Nigerians had become complaisant about COVID-19 because of the unfounded campaign against the vaccines.
“COVID-19 is already in our villages and communities; we have lost some members to COVID-19 infections. Many people are very complaisant and careless because they believe it is a rich people’s disease or it is not real.
“COVID-19 is real and it kills. Some people are peddling unfounded campaign against the COVID-19 Vaccines; they suggest that anyone receiving the vaccine will receive the anti-Christ number 666.
“Let it be clear that COVID-19 is a virus that is ravaging the world and killing people. We give glory to God that we have higher survival rate in Nigeria,” he said.
“This disease is like Polio, Yellow Fever and other virus diseases that we receive vaccines to prevent. Those who are infected are being treated and many recover.
`The medical personnel administer drugs to cure them which does not initiate them with the 666. This vaccine is like any other that we receive to prevent diseases caused by virus.
“The End Time signs are here but the severe persecutions and tribulations have yet to come fully. We should be careful not to propagate stories that are not true and which can only be destructive to the lives of our people.”
He urged Nigerians to live in faith and righteousness, and also engage in fasting and prayer to fight the pandemic.
The Anglican primate also urged Nigerians to always observe the protocols as issued by the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“Everyone should keep the non-Pharmaceutical procedures such as keeping social distance, use of face mask, hand washing with soap under running water, the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and others.
“It is a virus and an enemy of our lives and at the name of Jesus Christ, COVID-19 must be destroyed; God has preserved our lives till today and He will protect and keep us till the end.
“We plead that the federal and state governments should procure vaccines and give to all our citizens, especially the most vulnerable group. The incidence of the COVID-19 has exposed the poor state of Nigerian healthcare delivery system,” he said.
He appealed to the Anglican dioceses and parishes to intensify the establishment of health clinics and hospitals that would carter for members, especially the poor and vulnerable.
Ndukuba appreciated all doctors, nurses and frontline health workers who had bravely stood for the sick and citizens infected with coronavirus.
“We commiserate with all those who lost their dear one in this pandemic. May God stand by us and carry us through this challenging period victoriously,” he added.