By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The lnter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) has called on the Federal Government to stop flights from high-risk countries to Nigeria to check the spread of Coronavirus as the country confirms third case of the dreaded virus.
In a statement by the national chairman of IPAC, Leonard Ezenwa, it said it is not enough for the Federal Government to bar officials from foreign trips and cancel National Sports Festival.
“Government should also stop flights from China, Italy, USA, France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, lran, Saudi Arabia, Republic of Korea etc, to ensure that infected passengers do not spread the virus to fellow passengers and Nigerians they will come in contact with.”
IPAC also said the nation does not have COVID-19 screening equipment in most airports, thus putting Nigerians at risk of contacting Coronavirus that has infected over 182,000 people so far and killed over 7000 persons worldwide.
It said “Many Western, Middle East and African countries have restricted flights and taken proactive measures to stop the spread of the virus.
“Nigeria cannot be an island to itself playing big brother by allowing flights from all countries at the expense of the health of the citizenry in flagrant violation of section 14 (2)b of the 1999 constitution as amended which provides, “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”. It is justice juxtaposed to expose Nigerians to Coronavirus.
“It is unfortunate that past and present Governments neglected the nation’s health sector while officials go abroad for medical treatment. Today, Nigerian doctors are on strike over nonpayment of their salaries and related labour issues. With the raging Coronavirus that has stopped medical tourism abroad by public office holders, it is now imperative by Governments at all levels to equip the nation’s hospitals and fulfill all obligations to medical personnel.
“It will stop brain drain in the the health sector. Coronavirus is a wake up call to improve and upgrade our hospitals from mere consultant clinics.
“IPAC commends the lndependent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the credible, transparent and peaceful conduct of bye-elections at Magama/Rijau Federal – Niger State, Kebbe State Constituency – Sokoto State and Patigi State Constituency – Kwara State on 14th March 2020.
“The Council urges INEC to remain neutral as electoral umpire and provide a level playing field to political parties and their candidates in all elections, particularly the forthcoming Edo and Ondo States Governorship Elections. Henceforth, Nigerians expect free, fair and acceptable polls in our collective efforts at building a strong, virile, progressive and egalitarian democratic nation.”