For a long time now, I have watched with trepidation and dismay, the manner in which the government of federal republic of Nigeria has handled every moves concerning the fight against COVID-19, it gives me cause for worry that the carelessness of African leaders and her citizens may be the factor that will prove Melinda Gates statement right that “I see corpses littered in the streets of Nigeria”.
Many reactions and controversy had trailed this statement which I am sure must have come not out of hatred, but through a psychological assessment of the psyche of average Nigerians and the way we handle issues, which if put in scope at this point is leading to this fear of the unknown except something drastic is done about it. I will give instances.
I believe that the reason why the Federal Government called this exercise a total lockdown was in line with the recommendations of WHO and NCDC who had envisaged that lockdown was the best approach to curtail the spread of the deadly Coronavirus from persons to persons through physical contact that work as vector for the virus. Many argument and bad blood had trailed the question of palliative stimulus that did not include the majority of Nigerians and the dubious manners with which government officials had handled even the donations made by individuals, but that will be discussion for another day.
My fear lies in the following mistakes which I know may lead to compromise of the whole idea of a total lockdown and rubbish the sacrifice the whole nation is being forced to pay while licking our wounds of dead bodies littered on our streets (May God forbid this and help us)
- I noticed and have confirmed from reliable sources that despite the lockdown, inter-state movement have not stopped. There is constant movement from Abuja, Lagos, Ogun etc to other parts of Nigerian nonstop. The bad part is that this crime is aided by security operatives who have turned the lockdown to business.
The security operatives have converted their service vehicles into public transport to commute passengers from one border to another at a very juicy charges. The question becomes, “How could they know who is infected among those people they’re aiding to break the rules guiding the lockdown?”
- The government that made the rules on lockdown has continued to break them to a larger extent because even the policemen manning our markets and shops now take bribe and let the businesses go on as usual.
But the latest spectacle at the burial of Mallam Abba Kyari where over 500 people gathered for the burial have made rubbish the whole idea because the rule of social distancing was not observed, which have put many in jeopardy without knowing it.
Worse is the facts that one of the personnel that carried out the burial displayed the most stupid ignorance as was captured in a viral video. Now who will be blamed if things get out of hands in few days after this careless outing? Melinda Gates or our wrongly wired brains that make us believe that we can go away with anything? Your guess is as good as mine.
- What about the constant gathering of masses in the name of sharing palliatives by the same governments that issued such orders?
We have laid such much emphasis on religious gatherings who have not dared to break as much rules as the government chasing them. I witnessed in one state where over 30,000 people gathered to drag palliatives. How do you determine how many people were not postive among them or how many that have been infected after that useless exercise? What is our fate?
The list is unending, but I believe we are the problem we have and not the people that tried to tell us who we are. The insincerity and hypocrisy of this total lockdown is the reasons the pandemic may never be contained even if we lock ourselves down for one year.
Those that have in one way or another used this unfortunate situation to continue to make money should note that irrespective of your believe, class or status, Karma is a natural law, when it knocks, you may not be alive to enjoy the money you’ve made by risking the entire humanity.
Chief Dr. Emeka C. Kalu (ECK)