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2020 Easter Broadcast by Governor Udom Emmanuel
WHAT AFFECTS ONE, AFFECTS ALL
BEING THE TEXT OF THE EASTER BROADCAST (2020) BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. UDOM EMMANUEL, GOVERNOR, AKWA IBOM STATE – GOVERNMENT HOUSE, UYO
My dear Akwaibomites
My wife, Her Excellency, Dr. Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel and I share with you the joy of this season of Easter. Easter is a commemoration of the uplifting story of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, who in spite of being sinless offered himself as a sacrifice for the redemption of others, including his enemies, and became the atonement for the world ravaged by sin and other vices. This momentous event of sacrifice transformed humanity and remains the single most important event in the Christian calendar.
By His atoning death, Jesus Christ reconciled mankind to God, broke the wall of division between Jews and Gentiles and brought all of us, into the Household of God. We should thank him for this sacrifice which this season represents. Additionally, we should thank Him for sheltering our State from the ravages of this global pandemic.
This season of love and sacrifice has come at a time when most of the world is in a lockdown as a result of the need to stop mankind from being consumed by the fatal fangs of one of the most virulent pandemics in recent history – Covid-19. The times have given us a new lexicon or a new-fangled phrase – social distancing, but thankfully, not love distancing.
We should therefore, ensure that not one person in our neighbourhood is deprived of this essential ingredient by virtue of this lockdown which circumstances have forced upon us. Let us bridge the gap of social distancing with the cords of God’s love in sharing our foods and groceries with our neighbours.
We thank you, my dear compatriots, for your cooperation in this determined fight to rid our State of this virus, Covid-19. We thank you for your sacrifices and deep understanding. It has never happened in our lifetime that free citizens have had to be locked down in their homes, their freedom of movement curtailed and social interaction which is the basis of our communal life stopped. It is unthinkable that our Churches, businesses, offices and shops have been closed down. This is indeed a huge sacrifice. We thank you for enduring the pains. But you must remember that this season offers all of us in this lockdown the opportunity to look up to God for help and lock our faith in Him perpetually.
We have learnt a lot of lessons through this pandemic. Perhaps the most fundamental lesson is that it has brought home the reality in Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s words that “all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
This inter-relatedness of things and situations account for the spread of Covid-19, which started as an innocuous disease outbreak in Wuhan, China but later snowballed faster than a hurricane into a global pandemic which has killed over 100,000 people worldwide.
What affects one person directly affects all indirectly. The reverse side of this coin is that over 2,000 years ago, the crucifixion of a righteous, innocent man at Calvary between two thieves spread the message of God’s love throughout the length and breadth of the world, giving hope to mankind and bringing peace and goodwill to humanity. What affected one person at Golgotha, has affected all of us indirectly and positively. Let us therefore look beyond Covid-19 to Calvary’s Cross for our help and salvation.
There is a proverb in Tibet that “tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength; no matter what sort of difficulties, no matter how painful the experience is, you face no real disaster except you lose your hope.” These may be the times that try the hearts of men, but we dare not lose hope. Let us stand firm in the belief that this trial of our faith, though it be tried with the fire of a virus, shall be found unto praise and honour and glory at this season of God’s love.
We must continue to stand together in unity as one people having one State and worshipping Only One God. We must turn again to the promise of Easter which is that what God did in the resurrection of Jesus, God will do again for this blessed State. This State is on the rise, our people are equally on the move, the leadership is people and Christ-Centric and our symphony of unity continues to ring louder and more enchanting. Let this lesson and impulse of love and amity drive us to find fortitude in our shared resolve and purpose in our common aspirations.
Let this Easter season remind us that we serve an omnipotent God whose steadfast love and tender mercies can never cease. Let us remember that as Jesus triumphed over death, we will also triumph over every agent of death including Covid-19. To our sons and daughters who are at the battlefront of our fight to rid our State of this virus, we salute your courage and appreciate the risks that you are taking to keep our society safe. We also salute the security personnel for maintaining the peace and security in our dear State, standing under scorching sun.
This may not be a happy Easter for them, but we know that as God rewarded the midwives of Egypt for their kindness to the children of Israel, He will reward every one of them with immeasurable blessings and protection. Let us pray for their safety and strength. Let us pray for the recovery of those who have contacted the virus and are receiving treatment.
As families in our different homes, let us thank God for making us in His image and taking the pains to redeem us to himself through the death of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
As your Leader, I feel your pain. What affects you affects me and what affects me, affects you. The death of any Akwa Ibom person diminishes me. That is why we are fighting this Covid-19 pandemic with all the weapons at our arsenal. We trust God, that at the end of the day, not one Akwa Ibom person will die from this pandemic.
Because your headache is my headache, and what ails or afflicts you also afflicts me, I have made elaborate plans for relief materials to be given to our people across the State. The food items, such as Flour were sourced from our flour mill, the rice, from our rice mills in Ini and Garri from our processing plants located in all the senatorial districts of the State. It is a moment such as this, that has borne out the vision I brought to the State, to make us food sufficient and ensure that our staple food items are readily available and at affordable price range. At the same time, our syringe manufacturing company has risen to the occasion producing medical consumables to meet the rising demands of the time. This, again, is the testament to our vision in health care delivery.
After this pandemic is gone, we will all look up to the hills and wonder from whence came our help. We would testify that our help came from the Only God who made Heaven and Earth. Who did not allow our foot to be moved. Now is the time to reflect on Jesus Christ and wait upon Him, knowing that they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. I call on our people to remain united and eschew all forms of bitterness and hatred.
Let me end this address by re-emphasizing the fact that the lockdown and other measures already announced in my previous broadcast to combat this virus are still in place. You will be notified when those measures would be relaxed. Together, we would defeat this evil virus and life will return to normalcy.
I wish all of us renewed strength this Easter. Happy Easter and God bless Akwa Ibom State.