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#LeadershipTalks: Nigerians still think Covid-19 story is a hoax ~ by Muiz Banire

I am deeply worried about 2nd wave Covid-19 infections rate

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Compatriots, happy Sunday to you all. You are welcome as usual to our weekly engagement.

I must confess I am visibly worried about news of Covid-19 rate of infections in its second wave and the attitude and conduct of Nigerians.

While figures keep soaring terrifyingly of victims of the deadly disease, in many parts of the country, people still behave as if the whole story was a hoax.

We hear of deaths of bumbling, strong gentlemen and women in high places and one reckons that it is a confirmation of how deadly this pandemic is.

Unfortunately, in markets, social events and other large gatherings, people behave as if the ravages of coronavirus were just moonlight tales woven to scare stubborn children; a kind of Ojuju Calabar stuff.

Whatever could be responsible for the low rates of casualties in Africa, and particularly among the poor, is not an everlasting assurance of immunity against the disease.

People must learn to self-preserve as knowing the truth of the pandemic in the grave is not a good way to learn.

The Yoruba concept of “ad’orun mo otito” (i.e. he who confirms the truth only in the grave), is not a desirable way to live. The point of realisation has no remedy and the ailment would have been beyond cure.

It is certain that the government has no courage to announce another lockdown as it is certain that the economy cannot survive it. What the pandemic is saying is let the dead take responsibility for their death.

A disease that can be easily avoided ought not to send one to an early grave. Stay at home if there is no life-threatening or compelling reason to go out. Wash your hands regularly. Mask up if you must go out.

That ceremony you want to organise or attend can be done behind you without anyone noticing your absence.

Where you are so important to others that to celebrate without reckoning with your stupidity will prick their conscience, they will accord you a minute of silence. Thereafter, the party goes on.

Why must you commit suicide to please others or satisfy your reckless self-negation? The government by now should consider some urgent measures. Parties, large events and big religious gatherings ought to have been banned by now.

We have lost some important dignitaries of recent whose contributions to the country cannot be measured. The academia that has been suffering from brain drain has been worse hit. This is to suggest that all lives lost are unimportant.

The government cannot leave the people to their fates for fear of risking unpopularity. At the end of the day, where deaths ravage the masses as predicted by some people, the blame will still come back to the government.

Let us preserve as many lives as possible when it is possible to do so. Enforcement of Covid-19 protocol is still substantially weak, particularly in the transportation and market sectors.

Adherence to regulated passenger load is crucial while the use of masks in markets must be rigorously enforced. It is best to be safe and not sorry my people.

Let us help ourselves to help others. A word is enough for the wise.

Muiz Banire is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria [SAN] and Bencher.

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