by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
As the third wave of COVID-19 affects the global health and economic community, the National President of the Catholic Women Organization of Nigeria (CWON), Dame Mary Asibi Gonsum, has engaged Catholic women leaders across the nine provinces and fifty-five dioceses of the Catholic Church in Nigeria as part of the concerted efforts to reverse the trend of the pandemic.
Speaking during the meeting held in Jos recently, she urged the respective Provincial and Diocesan Presidents of the organization nationwide to engage in sensitization programmes at the provincial, diocesan, deanery and parish levels to curtail the spread of the third wave of the corona virus.
The CWON national president stressed that, the fear of the third wave of COVID-19 is the beginning of wisdom. The rate of the infection is again on the increase, saying, “There is the need to do everything necessary to stay away from getting infected.”
She noted that, as leaders, they are encouraged to constantly be in touch with their women at the diocesan, deanery and parish levels to ensure they sensitize their members on the third wave of the virus and the need to stay safe.
Dame Gonsum further explained that, the guidelines are simple: they are expecting their members not to relent in wearing face-masks, washing their hands, using hand sanitizers, maintaining social distancing, among other measures, not only at meetings but wherever they are at any time; and they should ensure that their families do likewise.
She urged the national, provincial and diocesan presidents , therefore, mobilize, sensitize and convince their leaders and members at all levels, especially at the Parishes, to maintain COVID-19 protocols and other public health interventions such as COVID-19 risk education, prevention by presenting themselves for COVID-19 testing when necessary and take-up of vaccination.
The CWON national president observing also that, some people do have valid fears and questions regarding the efficacy and safety of the vaccine, but advised the women to be careful about misinformation but rather look out for objective facts and take the vaccine.
She prayed for recovery for those affected by the virus as well as the health workers and other professionals on the front lines of the unexpected battle, while reminding the women that God is in control, and believes that He is our healer and will never fail. They are also to believe that they will live to see the goodness of the Lord at the end of the pandemic.
In another development, the CWON has commended Governor Simon Bako Lalong for his inclusive leadership style that has promoted peace and greater harmony in the State and nation at large.
Secretary of its Board of Trustees, Lady Rose Agur, stated this when she led the Executive Committee of the body to the Government House Rayfield, Jos, to pay a courtesy visit to the Governor and present to him the new President of CWON, Dame Mary Asibi Gonsum.
Lady Agur commended the governor’s disposition to reach out to people across religious, denominational and social groups, and also thanked him for the donation of a bus to the CWON and other forms of support that have facilitated the work of evangelism, while informing the governor that the National Executive Committee was in Jos for its Retreat and Executive Meeting.
Responding, Governor Lalong said he was delighted with the honour of the visit by the Catholic Women Organization, which is the umbrella body of women in the Catholic Church.
He urged them to pray for Nigeria and the leadership as well as followership for God to grant them wisdom and ability to resolve the challenges of the nation.
The governor said already, the intercession of women, particularly the CWON, was very useful in encouraging government to serve the people with honesty, vigour and commitment.
Lalong also asked them to pray for the rescue of people in captivity and for the defeat of evil persons that have terrorized the country.