By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Christian Association of NIgeria (CAN) Kaduna State has assured the Women Coalition On COVID-19 Response that it would pray for it to succeed, while stating that anyone who refuses to accept reality of COVID-19 is living in deception.
Kaduna CAN Secretary, Reverend Caleb Maaji stated this on Wednesday when the Women Coalition on COVID-19 paid an advocacy visit to its State secretariat.
Response behalf of CAN said that CAN will.be praying for you and you will excel in your set objectives.
He said a national CAN Executive is billed for Makurdi on Thursday and he is on the way there.
CAN also adviced the group to set up aims and objectives before liasing with other groups.
“Anyone who refuses to accept reality of COVID-19 is living in deception,” he said.
“We as religious leaders, leaders of CSOs and people.that are kind hearted, we must continue to preach this gospel that COVID-19 exists and no matter what you do, some will believe you and some won’t,” he said.
He said that one thing they all must do is to.keep sensitizing their people on the reality of COVID-19.
“You need to be independent while working with other groups to ensure you meet set targets,” he adviced.
CAN assured the coalition of support in anyway possible.
“CAN is always ready to partner and synergize with organisations seeking best for mankind.
“We would always be willing to open our doors and synergize with you. Not just at the launching of the coalition, but with you all through till the project winds up,” he added.
CAN recalled how the pandemic affected all individuals irrespective of status, or faith.
“We had our places of worship locked, we were all confined to our homes,
“We thank God because anything that God allows to happen, there is a lesson to learn.
“Some people.thought and expected pastors to go out begging because of the lockdown. People also trooped into pastors houses seeking help,” he said.
The Kaduna CAN Secretary prayed that God will keep all alive.to see the end of the pandemic.
He assured that CAN will be ably represented during the public launch of the coalition. Earlier in her remarks, leader of the coalition, and a consultant for UN Women, Dr. Lydia Umar said that CAN is a dependable ally, that is why they thought before launching the coalition, they must visit its leadership.
“At the onset of COVID-19, the UN Women observed that women suffered more during the lockdown.
“There are still.some people living in denial of COVID-19. And I tell them they have also been affected indirectly because the money used on COVID-19 by government would have been used for developmental projects,” she said.
She explained that their first meeting was on February 3 in Kaduna State to chart a way on how to respond to the new wave and how they can help government curb the spread of CoronaVirus.
“Our message is that COVID-19 has disrupted normal.functioning,” she added.
She said that the coalition seeks strenthening of collaboration between Government, NGOs and private sector.
Dr. Umar praised Kaduna State Government for various interventions on COVID-19.
She however said that the needs of women and girls should be brought to the fore.
She requested CAN Kaduna State presence during the launch of the coalition in March.
“We are hoping to do a formal.launch of the coalition in March this year, in the week of Women’s Day, once we get the permission of UN Women,” she added.
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) has partnered with the UK Government Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office to implement a project on Strengthening state capacities and women’s participation in COVID response and broader peacebuilding initiatives Nigeria.
With funding from the UK Government, the programme is being implemented in Bauchi, Plateau and Kaduna State.
It is aimed at advancing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda and addressing key gender issues in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, by supporting state governments to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) and enhance women’s participation in leadership and decision-making.