Foremost human rights activist, Femi Falana, SAN, has lambasted the Federal and state governments for being disorganised in Coronavirus pandemic response in Nigeria.
In a statement titled, “Time to stop official impunity and hypocrisy in the fight against COVID-19,” Falana said that the two levels of government appear to be working at cross-purposes.
He, however, appealed to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) against bending the rules to serve the whims of politicians.
He said the disorganisation on the part of the Federal and state governments as well as NCDC’s double standards has ensured that confirmed cases have been on the increase in the country.
“The Coronavirus pandemic appears to be on the ascendancy in Nigeria due to the inconsistency and double standards of the NCDC and lack of coordination on the part of the Federal Government in addressing the health crisis.
“Without any scientific basis whatsoever the Federal Government decided to limit the imposition of lockdown to the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states.
“Other state governments decided to impose partial restrictions in their areas of jurisdiction to prevent the spread of COVID 19.
“However, northern governors have since announced their decision not to impose any lockdown on the region. Based on that curious decision the members of the public have been mounting pressure on the governments of the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states to lift the extended lockdown imposed by President Buhari on Monday, April 13, 2020.
“While the NCDC has directed anyone who tests positive to COVID-19 to report to isolation centres for treatment and monitoring, former Chief of Staff to the President, the late Mr. Abba Kyari, was allowed to be treated in a cardiological centre, a private hospital in Ikoyi, Lagos State.
“Since then, some influential people, who tested positive to COVID-19, were said to have insisted on treatment in private hospitals without official authorisation.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Kyari passed on last Friday. Embarrassed by the unfortunate development, the Lagos State Government was reported to have said that the hospital was granted permission to treat COVID-19 patients.
“Having regards to the disturbing increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and the warning of health experts that the worst is not yet over in Nigeria, the fight against COVID-19 should be carried out in a more organised manner by the Federal Government and the state governments.
“Since public hospitals are in shambles in Nigeria, the NCDC cannot afford to combat COVID-19 in a slip shot manner. The NCDC should, henceforth, operate without bending the rules to satisfy partisan political interests,” Falana said.