Coronavirus: A Government-Citizen Concern


By Meduoye Adeyinka

Quietly silencing naïve souls and causing ripples within the surface of the earth like a pebble thrown in waters, she wriggles her way into the core of the land, making striking incursions here and there without recourse for discourse. At first, we flexed our muscles via the office of the health master like that of the comical Johnny Bravo while her shadow was busy saluting the western world with loads of “hellos” already sent out.

This time, the keys of our already porous borders were well hidden for reason(s) best known to those at the helm of affairs, as she quietly crawls into our manageable society where the truth is often hidden to make informed decisions. We shivered and jittered to her arrival like a harmless dragon with no heart fire. The scourge has reached dangerous magnitudes, with a spike in infection numbers around the world, which in no time is inducing inevitable adverse effects on the global economy and on practically – all facets of human endeavors.

We were not caught unaware as the skewed face of poor leadership in our nascent democracy is part and parcel of her continuing governance. The sweetness that comes in jetting out to treat even the slightest of ache has turned sore in their mouth while the aroma stench.

Before now, patriotic and concerned Nigerians have been lamenting the slow pace of human capital developments – such as good infrastructure, concrete health-care system and reliable power supply etc. from up-north to down-south, yet, we were termed wailers with loosed tongue. Of course, some of us aren’t sycophant or praise singers, promoting cheap politics by worshipping and gobbling at the feet of public officials, who are statutory required to promote transparency of being submissive to the wider populace.

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The pandemic is hitting harder, evident in its minute-by-minute increase of her victims. It is stinging and spreading invisibly, as religious centers have forcefully shut down, and students have in no time scampered away like rodents from closed schools. Simultaneously, we are all wrestling an unseen but common enemy of mankind having no respect for human decency. In her diary, every human class belongs to a queue, and the richness of humans is no antidote to its disappearance. Tragic!!!

With the aim to gain untamed relevance – rifts and scuffles are common in the game of political and economic dominance, but there are times in which the lords of amends are being invited to the struggling table. At every corner, the world continue to speak in one-voice; the once run-aways with penchant for looting the treasury are back home in insolation. Loosed relationships are getting strengthened, and leaders are now connecting with the led. Some even speak in the godly manner in such critical times saying “Our only hope remains up in the sky, God rescue your people”.

Mr. President, Muhammad Buhari in his national address has directed the mobilization of the whole instruments of government to confront what have now become both a health emergency and an economic crisis. But what is evidently missing from the chart is – national relief for all. In precarious times like this accompanied by total lockdown on few selected States, how do struggling Nigerians residing in those States feed? Or will manners fall from heaven? We ought to measure our palliative measures accordingly to fit into the present time.

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The world isn’t watching with bated breath as global economy is being boxed to upheaval. The president in his words “Although, we have adopted strategies used globally, our implementation programs have been tailored to reflect our local realities” but what we have failed to adopt as a nation – are the national relief strategies used by our western neighbors. Which way Nigerians? Our leaders are much expected to be responsible and responsive. They failed to realize that the pandemic is deadly but hunger is deadlier. Yes, we are trying to solve a problem but don’t you think we are channeling to create another amidst this.

Fellow Nigerians believes lies and falsehood preoccupies the media space, as they claimed they have already started the distribution of relief materials to the most vulnerable and poorest masses when it is obvious that we don’t have a well-structured database to identify and capture such class. if the #20,000 disbursement by the government is true, since most of the beneficiaries are “un-banked” if there is any word like that. Then a thumbs up to the government of the day. Valid!!!

It is now regarded as a norm in our society, where Nigerians embraces every slight opportunity to extort their fellows on no course for challenge. Those covering the retail-essentials commodities aren’t helping matters at all. In a blink, the prices of every day food items skyrocket in it multiple on the false and flimsy basis of scarcity. Some secretly hope the pandemic stays much longer in a clue to make more money from already stored essentials. That is very bad.

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In Nigeria, the NCDC has been implementing numerous strategies and programs to ensure that the adverse impact of this virus on the country is minimized. Applause!!! Even if it is taxpayers’ money, the members of the National Assembly have done the unthinkable and the memorable for the sheer display of their philanthropic acts, to be directed to the purse of the National Relief Fund as headed by the Presidential Task Force. This is commendable as the gestures of these men are exhibited once-in-a-while especially during electoral eras. One should be concern of them not re-looting multiple of it, after which the situation must have subdue.

Also a quick salutation to notable Nigerians, religious centers and organizations who in one way or the other, has been offering help and partnering with the government at all levels and responsible agencies in contributing their quota either through civic engagements, community-health-volunteering, monetary and in-kind donations etc. to curb the spread of this pandemic beyond. The fear that the donations might not be managed with corrupt-free hands is longer than that of the “Social Distancing” preached in every sane corner.

While the labs are widely opened for vaccine-discovery, as the pandemic continue to breaks every news; embraces every detail of major headlines; and dashes the hope of social gatherings. It is no easy time – no conveniences, as every nation in the world are challenged at this time. Our collective responsibility is much needed than ever to mitigate the spread of this virus. Keep playing the lyrics of “Stay safe” by staying home. It will surely come and go.

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