Each day the Coronavirus pandemic exposes the failings of the Nigerian government from local government to state down to the federal. Rather than set up needed infrastructures, our leaders built personal empires and faced with the pandemic, they are clutching at straws including forcing Chinese medical team and globally rejected equipment on our people.
The Buhari government has consistently borrowed money from China yet it had literally no structures on ground when, insensitive to public demands that our borders be shut to keep the rampaging virus away, it waited for children of the high to get back and loot hungry officials to strike deals not directly their business.
Now that the virus is home, they are isolating in comfort while the masses long impoverished by unfriendly policies and heavy corruption, are trapped in a lockdown they can ill- afford, exposing them to blood thirsty security personnel.
While trying to lock them in to save them from death through Coronavirus, the security operatives have killed 18 persons trying to go against the COVID-19 law while the pandemic has only claimed 12 patients, mainly persons with underlying health issues.
Center for Environment Media and Development Communications, CEMEDEC, views the fact that the very people who have continuously been denied their right to good governance are still paying heavily for the misdeeds of our leaders.
It is clear that monies set aside to tackle the pandemic have become a bonanza for those managing it especially the minister of Humanitarian Affairs Natural Disaster and Social Development, while the real poor feed on their saliva waiting hopelessly for a lifeline from government.
We condemn this intentional punishment of the weak and poor in Nigeria. The political office holders must begin to plan and think for the people not self and those charged with federal responsibilities must know that once in office, the entire country, not Katsina, north, etc., is your area of jurisdiction. And at any time you must be accountable to the people.
This pandemic is not a joke and when we overcome the virus, there will be many hurdles to cross which will require quality service- quality and equipped health facilities clearly absent as testified to by the Secretary to the Federal Government and chairman of the Nigerian Coronavirus Taskforce, economic schemes to lift the pro-poor out of want into productive citizens, aggressive agriculture to boost food and youth employment, power and water supplies and investment in quality education and research as we can no longer continue to depend on other nations to do the needful for us.
Then we have to impartially address the thorny issue of insecurity so Nigerians can feel free and confident to do their best as their contribution towards getting the country back on it’s feet since our international partners would be busy rebuilding their countries from the ruins of the pandemic. It is time to remake Nigeria!
Constance Meju, Coordinator