By Sola Charles
Vanguard and nine other media organisations have teamed up with the Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank to launch a “Name and Shame” Initiative as part of efforts to promote behavioural change around managing the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
Disclosing this in a jointly signed statement, the Chairman of the Anap Foundation, Atedo Peterside, and the Vice-Chairman, Abubakar Siddique Mohammed said the initiative will highlight the non-compliance of newsmakers with the Health Protection Regulations and spotlighting defaulters in the media.
The statement reads: “The Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank (the Anap Think Tank) welcomes the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations (2021) aimed at ensuring Nigerians adhere to public health advice around controlling the spread of COVID-19. It is detailed and if adhered to, will go a long way towards protecting us from the second wave and the more infectious strains of the virus.
“However, we note with concern that these regulations are being openly flouted. While there is room for mass communication of the regulations – which mainly reiterate the popular, global advice about managing the pandemic (avoiding crowds, physical distancing, washing hands, wearing masks etc.) – we note that duty bearers and people in influential positions are particularly egregious in their disregard for public safety protocols.
“The Name and Shame Initiative will highlight the non-compliance of newsmakers by (i) not covering events or denying media coverage of events where participants do not comply with the Health Protection Regulations and (ii) spotlighting defaulters in the media.
Further, the statement noted: “So far, the following media houses have agreed to join this initiative: Arise TV, Business Day Newspaper, Channels TV, Classic FM, Daily Trust Newspaper, Premium Times, The Cable, The Nation, This Day Newspaper, and Vanguard Newspaper. We encourage all other media houses to consider signing up to join our Name and Shame Initiative.
“We must continue to act cleverly and take every opportunity to protect ourselves, our neighbours and our country. We cannot afford another lockdown, but we can also not afford to act like we are not in the middle of a global pandemic that has already claimed two million lives globally. Follow the Regulations. Mask up. Stay Safe. Remain well and alive,” the statement noted.
The Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank was established on 22 March 2020, to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and has 18 members drawn from across the six geopolitical zones and the Diaspora (Germany and USA).