Ebola came to Nigeria through one man. Nigeria rose to the occasion and mobilised man and materials to contain it. There was synergy and institutional collaboratons. The same Ebola dealt heavy casualties on other African countries.
COVID-19 came to Nigeria through one man.The Government, individuals and corporate organizations rose up to contain the situation, but opaque operational arrangements, lack of institutional cohesion, political considerations, weak welfare structures to deliver humanitarian support, have combined to worsen Nigeria’s management of COVID-19.
I wish there can be frank assessment of the situation. I wish State governors could cease from denying the Coronavirus status of their states. I wish the federal government can admit it hasn’t done well, particularly in the way it has handled the humanitarian dimension of this crisis. I wish Mr. President can make a demand for alternative local option to the management of the index cases.
I wish government can cure itself of impunity, as officials of government have continued to violate the lockdown order and social Distancing rule established for public safety at this time. I wish the continued lockdown order can be reviewed against two important factors: for the preservation of lives by stopping the spread and preservation of lives by providing decent, effective and comprehensive humanitarian supports. Either way or both, the lives of the citizens must be Paramount. There is no easy way out, but we aren’t in cul-de-sac situation.
I pray that Mr. President and the State Executive Governors will receive wisdom to take the right decisions and the boldness to enforce them at this time. We can do it, provided leadership is determined to get it right.
Joseph C. Ibekwe
FLED International Leadership Institute, Abuja