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Festus Keyamo, minister of state, labour and employment, says God allowed coronavirus to afflict humans so they can retrace their steps back to Him.
More than 472,000 people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. More than 114,000 have recovered, while more than 21,000 people have died.
In a tweet on Thursday, the minister said Nigerians should ask for forgiveness and also follow the directives of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“God has allowed COVID-19 to afflict the human race only to redirect our steps back to Him,” he tweeted.
“We have so distorted God’s Word to suit our own human weaknesses and satisfy our greed, even in supposed Holy Places. We should collectively ask for forgiveness & it will all end in praise.
“Aside the spiritual angle to this scourge, we must all work and pray; God can only help those who help themselves. Those our recalcitrant Pastors must realise this. All the directives of
@NCDCgov must be followed to the letter by all and sundry before it can quickly end in praise.”
The Nigerian Army is preparing to forcibly transfer the sick to hospital and enforce strict curbs on movement to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Africa’s most populous country, according to Reuters news agency.
A memo from army headquarters seen by the news agency outlines measures to protect government food storage from looters and says the military is also leasing equipment for “possible mass burial”.
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has launched an appeal for $2bn in international humanitarian aid to help poorer countries tackle the coronavirus pandemic.