Nigerian author, essayist and human rights lawyer, Ayo Sogunro has listed the failures of the Nigerian government on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people who fall sick with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment.
Taking to his Twitter page, Ayo Sogunro stated that the failure of the government to provide free testing, lockdown relief, and periodic updates from Aso Rock, are one of the reasons citizens are not taking the virus seriously.
See what he wrote below;
Failures of the Nigerian govt on #COVID19 include:
– lockdown without relief
– politicians holding events
– no nationwide free testing
– trying to make money off tests/travel
– no periodic pandemic updates from Aso Rock
This is why many Nigerians still don’t take it seriously.
Govts that are serious about lockdown will not just provide relief, but make sure it gets into the hands of the people who need it, rather than waste away in warehouses.
Our govt wasted donations and public funds on palliatives that only a fraction of people received.
Till date, our public officials and politicians are still running around holding seminars, events, commissioning and what not involving crowds of people.
Govt offices, agencies, and institutions are still packed with people. How do you expect the people to believe covid is real?
The testing part is the worst crime so far. Till date, there is no nationwide free testing program. Some state and local govts have their own programs but there is no centralised coordination. Testing is still arbitrary: depending on if a person has symptoms or is traveling.
And while on the issue of testing, it is deeply offensive that, again, the govt is cashing in on the pandemic by contracting private labs to do official tests at rates 70% of the population cannot afford offhand. N30,000 to N50,000 for a test is crazy. Imagine a family of five.
In South Africa where I am resident, the president has addressed the country on average of once a month, since March 2019, to update us on what is going on and what to expect and to encourage the nation. It gives people hope and purpose, if nothing else. But, Buhari? Shrugs.
At this point, the bare minimum the Nigerian govt can do is to ensure complaince with wearing of face masks, hand hygiene, and social distancing in public spaces. This doesn’t require much except active engagement with public and private institutions and businesses. But, nope.
How Nigerians have survived this pandemic so far is truly worth a study because there is absolutely nothing protecting us: no plan, no data, no policy, and no palliatives. So, please don’t wait for govt: do what you can to stay safe out there. The pandemic is real.