By DOH JAMES SONKEY
In a move to prevent religious milieus in the nation’s capital from serving as fertile grounds for the Corona virus pandemic, the President of the Republic, Paul Biya has donated a consignment of kits to help Christians and Muslims remain safe at their places of worship.
Speaking last June 17, 2020 as he distributed the presidential offer, Territorial Administration Minister, Paul Atanga Nji declared that “We want to give a spiritual dimension to the fight against COVID19 in Cameroon.”
Officially handing over the hygiene kits made up of cartons of soap, re-usable masks, praying mats, wash hand buckets, tap buckets, cuticles, hydro-alcoholic gel, to the various heads of the religious bodies, the Minister urged them to make good use of the materials so that followers remain safe from the pandemic.
The Archbishop of Yaounde, Jean Mbarga received on behalf of the various parishes in Mfoundi Division, Protestant Churches under the banner of Eglise Presbyterienne du Cameroun received their donation at the Marie Gocker congregation while the Presidential gift to Muslims worship places was handed over at Briqueterie Central Mosque.
In a marathon trip that took Minister Paul Atanga Nji first to the Yaounde Our Lady of Victory Cathedral, then to the Paroisse Marie Gocker of the Eglise Presbyterienne du Cameroun, EPC and finally to the Briqueterie Central Mosque, the message voiced out to the various recipients was identical as he congratulated religious groups for respecting barrier measures put in place by the government in line with prescription from the World Health Organisation, WHO. He said the Head of State’s gesture is coming to boost the fight against the coronavirus in worship places.
As to the distribution of the protective materials, the minister revealed that Our Lady of
Victory Cathedral received 2000 cartons of soap, 600 wash hand buckets, 2004 hydro-alcoholic
gels, and 4000 buckets as well as 15000 face masks.
The Paroisse Marie Gocker ofYaounde was handed some 340 cartons of soap, 102 tap buckets,
684 bottles of hydroalcoholic gel, 1020 buckets and some 10000 face masks.
And finally, Imams of the Yaounde Central Mosque were given some 420 cartons of soap, 70 wash hand buckets, 70 praying mats, 140 cuticles, 24 cartons of hydro alcoholic gels, 420 buckets, 7000 facemasks.
Speaking at the start of the distribution exercise, Minister Paul Atanga Nji explained that the donation by the President is a way of complementing the actions of clergies in the fight against the virus.
“I want to commend the efforts put in place so far by the church with respect to distancing measures put in place; we know you have an important role to play in the response measures put in place. The President is adding you the Men of God to the fight given that the population is constantly with you and they respect everything that has to do with God, so the donation is to help facilitate the work.”
Reading from the book of John10 verse 10, His Lordship Jean Mbarga while receiving the Head of State’s gifts, prayed for an end to the pandemic that is causing devastating effects in the world. He told reporters that “I want to use this opportunity to thank President Paul Biya for his gesture and to assure the entire Catholic community which I represent that the consignment is going to reach all the parishes in Yaounde.”
Talking to the press at the Muslim prayer ground, the main Imam of the Esso Mosque, Modibo Ibrahima said “I want to appreciate the gesture of the Head of State for it has gone round the country and I am very grateful that it has finally reached the prayer ground and I promise our continuous prayers for the country and for an end to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Biya equips religious community with anti-COVID19 kits
By DOH JAMES SONKEY