Covid-19 Measures: Buhari Mischievously Unfair To South, Activist Laments
A human rights activist and author, Comrade Paul Ikechukwu Njoku, has lamented that the Covid-19 stimulus interventions by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is fraudulently unfair to Southern Nigerians.
The rights activist in his written statement sent to ElombahNews stated that the lockdown measures should be tactically lifted with full covid-19 test and screening to be concentrated on the movement of immigrants from various borders in Nigeria and immediate neighboring States.
“It is very sad to note that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is utterly unfair to the Southern Nigerians via the fraudulent distribution of resources and stimulus packages to cushion the devastating effect of the novel coronavirus in Nigeria.
“One wonders why a nation’s President directives on a world pandemic is enforced more in denial than enforcement. Lagos, Ogun and all Southern States are totally locked down with empty but laughable palliatives from the Federal Government amidst hunger, criminality, starvation, little banking activities and trading whilst all the 19 Northern States in Nigeria including the President’s State, Katsina, have at governmental level refused to obey Mr. President’s directives with civil servants at work with full trading activities and still getting a disproportionate fat share of the monetary and other palliatives than the Southern States dominated by Christians. Northern governors’ forum have recently held that they can no longer sustain the lockdown in their region.
“Buhari government said they identified the poor by asking villagers to identify the poor but now they say they cannot identify who the poor they gave money to because the poor do not want to be identified as poor and that it will cause government more money to locate the poor in rural areas with journalists.
“Today, they told us that if we have five thousand naira and above in our bank accounts and could recharge more than a hundred naira credit in our cell- phones, we wouldn’t be regarded as poor.
“The military and other paramilitary agencies are all over the hunger stricken Southern States for total enforcement and killing spray. Let us not forget that during the last civil war, starvation was declared as a legitimate instrument of warfare. Therefore, could this rampaging starvation and unequal treatments be another organised instrument of war against the Southerners? I remember when people were saying that former President Goodluck Jonathan was clannish. Those individuals have supposedly know what clannishness means today.
“Do we sustain the lockdown to contain coronavirus and risk the upsurge of insecurity and citizens’ unrest or do we lift the restrictions and find other means of controlling the spread of Covid-19? For a country like Nigeria with complexities and deplorable socioeconomic indices, imposing restrictions on movement for a very longer extended period of time would definitely asphyxiate and pauperise small businesses. Lockdown measures are not sustainable. As it is, we cannot afford an extended lockdown.
“Few moment ago, some countries affected by Coronavirus in Europe in Europe are beginning to relealize that imposing lockdown and shutting down economies are reactive approaches. Spain for instance has lifted some lockdown measures. Sweden has a low scale lockdown. Other European nations like Austria, Denmark and Czech Republic battling Covid-19 are considering easing lockdown measures including the USA.
“I am of the view that locking down the country is a defective idea. We cannot import wholesale the approach of other countries much more advance than us without care for our own unique situation and expect things to work out. Even with the lockdown in the past two weeks, we have done just less than 6,000 Covid-19 tests while Ghana is shooting above 35,000 in the aggregate so far”, Comrade Paul, lamented.