By Juliet Ebirim
Global Igbo Alliance, a conglomerate of Igbo associations in the diaspora has called on Ndi Igbo to brace up for the Corona Virus pandemic ravaging the world.
The group in a statement made available by the president, Christian Duru said: “We cannot afford to experience another large scale mortality in Igbo land after losing millions of lives during the Biafran war. Since the war ended, Ndi Igbo have continued to lose lives in the course of our quest for freedom and autonomy. This is yet another test of our ability as a people. We need to stand up and fight against this dangerous virus from overtaking Alaigbo (Igbo land).
GIA recommends total lockdown in all the states in Alaigbo for at least two weeks. This is the method adopted by other countries of the world and a proven way to curtail transmission of the disease. Countries that did not take action timely enough, such as Italy and Spain, have lost thousands of lives and are paying a huge price for it.
GIA added: “We are in the diaspora and can attest to what is going on overseas with the Corona Virus pandemic – it is an unprecedented event that took the world unawares. Let us learn from those around us. Our people say that ‘an orphan child learns from the counsel of his friend’s living parents’. Both Alaigbo and Nigeria as a whole do not have what it takes to contain an Italy or Spain type of outbreak. If it occurs in Nigeria, it will be catastrophic, hence, the urgent call for Ndi Igbo and all Nigerians to brace up and protect themselves before it is too late.
The group called for precautionary measures to be put in place without delay, stressing that this is not the time for partisan politics or interests. They called on Igbo industrialists like Innoson motors and others to assist with ideas or manpower on the possibility of producing alternative ventilators. “Our brothers at Aba can start churning out improvised face masks that can be used by Ndi Igbo and other Nigerians in this difficult time. All media platforms should increase sensitisation and social distancing campaign at all levels, and in various dialects to properly communicate the message to people at the grassroots. Washing of hands frequently, use of hand sanitizers, staying at home and observing social distancing are so crucial at this time. All funerals, Igba Nkwu, Weddings etc should be suspended until further notice. It is believed that Coronavirus is now airborne, making contraction even easier than was earlier thought. All that Ndi Igbo and the rest of Nigeria need to do is give this virus two to three weeks to have its course and fizzle out. Community transmission in Alaigbo or any other part of Nigeria will be devastating.
The group also called on all the Governors in Igbo land to block access to their various states and order everyone to stay at home while this pandemic lasts. Two cases of the deadly COVID-19 novel Corona Virus have already been confirmed in Enugu. We do not want more cases to arise in Alaigbo. At the moment, there is no cure for coronavirus and no vaccines available. Therefore, ‘prevention’ remains the best option for Ndi Igbo and Nigeria”.