UNLIKE what had obtained in the ancient medieval and part of the modern times, the world of today is welded together by a common ideology of peaceful existence, co-operation and unity of purpose nurtured and promoted at the end of the Second World War under the umbrella of the United Nations Organisation (UNO).
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the leading adjunct of the body in matters of proactive and pre-emptive response to human health challenges was taken aback recently by the sudden outbreak and surge of the COVID -19 pandemic, otherwise detailed as coronavirus.
Unfortunately, the source of the virus nor the appropriate drug for cure and control is yet to be determined. Despite this, the WHO has not rested but is constantly looking for atleast temporary solution through issuance of benefitting guide-lines and trial drugs which various nations are adopting along with their local actions to counter the surging pandemic while research continues from diverse fronts.
In Nigeria, while the federal and state governments work round the clock to stem the tide of the killer virus, the loose attitude of most Nigerian lords and vassals are not helping matter, giving their failure to adhere to the guidelines released by the government which has continued to escalate the rise of COVID-19 positive cases.
It is hard to fathom out why market traders and their customers, adherents of religion and their clerics at worship centres, people in the streets and at social functions as well as some public servants in their office turned deaf ears to causes considered vital and veritable remedy to check-mate the menacing spread of the virus billed to save life.
Few weeks ago, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State Maximised his benevolence vision and lifted ban on public and private business as well as social life with binding conditionalities, but the opposite has been the case in compliance. The defiance and abuse promptly resulted in the closure of the famous capital city market, Eke Awka, to serve as deterrent both to them and to others still flouting the state government’s laws after series of warnings.
Away from Anambra State, television religious programmes present sordid and embarrassing sight. The programmes are awash with flagrant violation of COVID-19 Laws by many Christians and Muslim faithful including their clerics which they replicate at the various worship centres during worship days without caring a hoot about the dangers ahead.
To avoid crisis, the need to adopt pragmatic system at worship places through efficacious increase in the number of times for religious service during worship days is an option. Although it will lead to rational increase in the load work of clerics, still it cannot be avoided, giving the benefit accruable during the general worship of God against the closure of the worship centre in the event of abuse.
Nigerians must know that law is a body of rules to guide human action which is why Jesus Christ, the greatest evangelist of all times has maintained that mankind should give to God and to Caesar their due shares. This candid vision of the Saviour, Lord Jesus, displayed over two millennium years ago is ageless and points to the existence of two effects, notably-divine and human laws with the latter representing people and their government.
It is proper to emphasise the truism that human laws or rules derive its element, poise and value from divine laws or rules embodied in the coded Ten Commandments. However, while both laws gear towards moving the universe forward with sanctions against abuse, the divine law is not only sacrosanct but equally prevails against human laws in the event of conflict at all times.
What should be upper most in our mind is that flouting government law which does not contradict God’s Law will surely attract the sanction of God and that of government.
We must add that Governor Willie Obiano’s Government has shown consistency in resolute courage which once more manifested in the two weeks clamp down on the Eke Awka Capital City Market. To state the obvious, if there is no example, the strength and weight of government in handling compliance over ugly spectre that undermines collective endeavor cannot be understood.
It is gratifying to note that from the 15th June, 2020, when the clamp took off, observations show virtual compliance by people in the streets of Awka. This is a welcome development which should be regular.
We hope that the worship institutions and others should buckle up.
Okonkwo is a veteran journalist