By Mudathir Hayatullahi Folorunsho
Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Nigeria, early of March 2020, which is now four months to this time, Nigeria has been squabbling with the deadly pandemic, yet, we still don’t have enough test facilities to adequately control the deadly virus. Despite a series of promises from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) to contain the spread of this virus. Nigerians are dying from Coronavirus complications every day but our response to the virus is better informed by data from comprehensive testing.
Despite the fact that many Nigerians firmly believe in the spurious existence of Coronavirus in Nigeria, the country is now the third African country with the highest number of Coronavirus cases in the world— with more than 30,000 cases, due to many citizens’ negligence to this virus.
It is very crucial to curb the spread of the virus, our government has made some regulations to be abided by everyone, but the citizens have lost trust in their government and all the sectors involved in the COVID-19 regulations as they have all betrayed us. Vulnerable members are being punished for violating the rule, but what’s happening to the people in power violating the same rules committed by a common man? save an apology.
Experts have opined that the rise in COVID-19 cases is a result of community transmission and non-compliance with the protocols which people are breaching due to the corrupt officers that have betrayed the nation through bribe-and-pass pattern, they engaged themselves in whenever violators are caught. A good example of this is some police officers in Oyo state who were caught taking 200 nairas and 1,000 nairas from violators of this rule in lieu of 20,000naira fine if the person is found guilty in the court of law.
We could recall that a herb to cure Coronavirus was found in Madagascar and was also sent to Nigeria, we all welcomed the herb, even though we heard nothing more on it, only to later discover that the leaves used there are also found in our country here and even owned by us. Our government has not taken any decision or move to put into consideration the effort of our own traditional experts, despite their everyday research results.
Many researchers have made efforts and still intensifying it to find a cure to this destructive virus while the government keeps imperiling their works and making all their effort fruitless.
For example, NAFDAC demands a huge amount of money from the poor herbalists to test and approve their herbs if it works. Typical example is Paul Oni, a man in Ogun state who claimed to have found herbal cure which he named ‘Oxibiotics’ syrup for Coronavirus but was bewildered because the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control ( NAFDAC), demanded the sum of N2.1million for his herb to go through proper testing and approval. The man went ahead to advertise his herb publicly at a briefing at Centenary Hall, Ake, Abeokuta where NAFDAC scrambled his program.
Regarding incidents like this, it is also necessary to ask where the money which the government claimed and explained to be used on research for the COVID-19 cure is? and why has it not been properly managed? What a hollow promise to the nation.
While people continue to die of Coronavirus and its complications every day, the government also continue sanctioning individuals or organization that tends to help patients with their herbal mixtures. The media houses that advertise them are also not left out from being sanctioned. I don’t know what pleasure our leaders gain in our deaths as we keep decreasing in the country day by day.
Despite the lockdown and interstates travel ban in our country, the virus has not been healed because of its proper prevention by the government and the citizens which is frail. The lockdown is now eased, the lift has been raised on the interstates travel ban and the lives of some of our pupils are exposed to the danger of COVID-19.
It is in my humble opinion that the government can do better than to worsen community transmission through menacing relaxations and school resumption. If Boss Mustapha of Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus would listen to Chukwumeka Ihekweazu’s word, the Director-General of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), who does say that he had rather be “slow and get it right” than “fast and be sorry”.
Let’s not forget that after a week of resumption, a teacher together with his wife and six other students of Accra Girls Senior High School in Ghana tested positive for COVID-19. The story was confirmed by authentic sources and published by Ghanaweb on Tuesday, 7th July 2020.
Is that not a warning message to Nigerians? How sure is our government that all the already resumed schools are duly observing the protocols, especially the government-owned schools?
To hit the truth at its peak, if truly Coronavirus exists in Nigeria and no cure has been truly confirmed, then students’ lives are at stake if only we are to resume when regulations are ready because proper precautionary measures have said to have been made by those that died of the virus’s complications too and this is Nigeria where the government takes education and what it entails with levity hands. If with fear of not being sanctioned, the privately-owned schools try to meet up all regulations, what of our government-owned schools?
Mudathir Hayatullahi Folorunsho is a 200 level English Language student of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.