As we ponder on the desirability or otherwise of lifting the ban on economic activities in our country, there is need for introspection and deep thinking about what we actually need to address as a nation. There is no gainsaying that our response mechanism to the so called Corona virus pandemic has made us a laughing stock before the whole world prompting rash evacuations of foreign national cohabiting in our ecosystem.
It is not a thing of national pride that of all countries of the world, Nigeria became the only one that gave the international community a cause for grave concern that prompted evacuations of foreigners even by countries that were struggling to cope with the pandemic. All these are happening because of a leadership that is populated by some of the most clueless individuals on planet Earth.
Apart from the fact that the nation’s leadership showed unconcern and total lack of preparedness to deal with the problem that came with three months warning signs since the outbreak in Wuhan; when finally the outbreak knocked on our doors, the leadership was absent minded, missing entirely, looking the other way, or perhaps, thinking that the donor nations will as usual package it as loan and as Father Christmas.
At the moment it dawned on our nation’s leaders that the pandemic required every nation digging deep in it’s very best for out of the box solution, we as usual was found wanting and descending in morass. First came a task force of incompetence having the wrong people or departmental heads instead of experts to deal with the problem.
Next came the inexperienced jobber and brainless revisionist so called the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management implementing a segregationist government palliative amid the same politics of North South divide as if the looming contagion recognizes the nation’s ethnic borders.
What a shame? Then next came the Honourable Minister of Lies who dropped the bombshell that N100 billion had been shared to Nigerians in the wake of Covid. What a disaster?
So Covid became another business opportunity just like Boko Haram is for these evil men in our government. The spate of blunders continued with the Chinese, the biggest suspects for the spread of corona virus effect offering everything on planet Earth as palliative. Jack Ma brought unsolicited medical supplies and now some Chinese doctors arriving with medical equipment without solicitation.
Why would China turn Father Christmas all of a sudden having suffered the deadliest attack by the virus? What informs the Greek gifts? Is it as a result of what they know that we don’t? Do we have the capacity as a nation to investigate and test the testing kits being supplied by Jack Ma among the vested interests in the scheming for 5th Generation internet platforms? That’s divided the world in scientific confusion.
How are our blundering leaders for instance mobilizing our scientists and experts to counter or subsume the nation’s psyche over the burning 5G debates and what should we know and what should we believe? Is it the Chinese doctors that will come and lead our national response team and direct our medical practitioners? even when Nigerian doctors are among the best practitioners in USA and most of Western Europe.
There should be limit to these blunders by our presumed leaders as time has indeed come for our scientific community to take charge of proceedings. But in the midst of all these governmental infirmities, people are locked down and with their businesses too and means of livelihood. Say, selling a monkey and buying a baboon. We’re back to where we started.
With the benefits of hindsight, this killer virus that is causing pandemic globally is sparing Africans including Nigerians. Maybe by an act of God should I say. The rate of contamination in our community is minimally insignificant that should warrant a new strategy of dealing with the scourge. I had earlier in one of my submissions canvassed for a country specific approach to solving the problem in our own country. I still stand by it.
For a country of 200 million population to be talking of only 230 active carriers means we are not in corona virus trajectory and must device a new template to deal with the minor cases rearing up in our community. More so most of the cases identified are being treated and reversed medically. A thing of great relief. It is absolutely no longer necessary to lockdown our huge population that’s being exposed to hunger and much greater disease.
The army and the police that are being assigned to enforce the lockdown has completely lost it and now provoking the restive population into anger and strife. We want to make it clear that government did not make provisions for the populace to warrant any crackdown by the authorities on people who may become desperate to find food to eat. This is tyranny and the people may soon start resisting.
There may be need for all States that are yet to record any corona virus incident to unlock the population and allow people go about their daily lives. The same for States with one or two cases. The bold steps of the Niger State governor in lifting the lockdown in his State should be applauded in this context.
There was no need for him to require a special permission from the Federal Government to do what he needed to do in the circumstances. Other states should be encouraged to follow the Niger State example since there is nothing yet to cry wolf about corona virus in Nigeria.
In conclusion, apart from Lagos, Abuja, Ogun and Osun states, who are adjudged to have a slightly few cases of concern, no other state across the federation requires a shutdown over the corona virus crisis.
Chief Eng. Odo Ijere is University of Lagos trained engineer. He was former National Secretary Accord Party and former Adviser to Abia State government.