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Before we lockdown for second time — Okpara Enyinna

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Lockdown averted 5.8m COVID-19 infections in Nigeria — Research

The resurgence of COVID 19 under what has been rightly or wrongly tagged the second wave has sent panic into the hearts of so many world leaders. It has been said that the second wave would be more devastating than the first without letting us know whether it is prophetic or scientific.

Countries including Nigeria are reeling out numbers of new infections to justify a call for more stringent measures to curtail the spread of the virus.

There is the fear of a possible second lockdown in most of Europe and America as being canvassed by many people in different parts of the globe.

Many people across the world still have the opinion that the coronavirus is a man-made conspiracy theory and therefore a hoax and no sustainable logic has been able to debunk this argument of conspiracy theory.
The havoc and economic dislocation that COVID 19 brought upon nations cannot be quantified with exactitude.

In Nigeria, the most visible economic arrow of the virus apart from job losses is the galloping inflation that has made most essential food items out of the reach of the common man.

Inflation in Nigeria has been increasing with progressive rapidity and there is no evidence that it will slow down any time soon.

With the inflation rate nearing 15% going to the data of the National Bureau for statistics, which put the inflation rate at 14.89% for the month of November 2020, it would be very devastating if Nigeria joins the rest of the world into a frenzy of a second lockdown.

The Nigerian economy may never recover from a second lockdown. Our cases are different from those of Europe and America. What troubles them is different from what troubles us here in Africa. Hunger is a more deadly virus here. Do we ponder to ask how many Nigerians have committed suicide because of economic hardship?

The most recent of these hardness induced suicides, being the woman who took her life in Ebonyi State because of the hardness of times.

Nigeria is a country where the leadership does not have a mind of its own. The Leadership lacks any inventive idea that can give birth to any meaningful innovation.

Instead, they copy just what the advanced societies are doing irrespective of whether such borrowed ideas are relevant to the peculiarity of our local circumstance. The fact that the developed world is locking down should not be enough reason for Nigeria to follow suit and lockdown.

The number of people who died in a day in the United States from COVID 19 is more than double the number of deaths recorded in Nigeria for the past nine months that the virus has lasted in Nigeria. Instead of Nigeria realizing the divine intervention in stemming the spread of the virus and appreciate the Almighty God, the officials whose beneficial interests are served by the rumoured spread of the virus are busy threatening a second lockdown.

The truth of the matter is that the government is doing very little to help the citizens ameliorate the impact of the virus. Nearly all government pronouncements are driven by potential material gain. Our leaders see a business opportunity and pecuniary benefits in every human misery.

Also read: Rage of COVID-19 into second wave: ‘How about 50, 000 travelers into Nigeria escaped testing’

If the government cannot do anything to take the test for Coronavirus affordable, then every talk on solving the problem would amount to an exercise in futility. You do not just ask people to stay indoors without providing an affordable means of finding out who and who has the virus in a household before you begin to talk of treatment.

Nigeria’s economy is basically informal and most citizens depend on survival for what they get on a daily basis Government must ensure first and foremost that the coronavirus test is affordable instead of the current cost that ranges between thirty and fifty thousand nairas being charged for a test.

The political leadership should be held accountable for unwittingly encouraging the spread of the virus for the simple reason that it ordered National identification number registration that compels the massing of the crowd without ensuring the strict observance of the COVID 19 protocol.

The man on the street knows that a lot of donations are coming in from outside the country and that tends to becloud our leaders’ sense of responsibilities to the people.

The other issue that would have shown that government is interested in the health and welfare of the people is the sponsorship and encouragement of research and the numerous claims of local cure for the virus.

The Nigerian government is too broke to give any meaningful financial succour that would reduce the hardship attendant with a stay at home directive. I would advise that government should think properly and weigh the pros and cons of a second lockdown.

You cannot beat a child and ask the child not to cry. In this part of the world, we are just enjoying God’s unmerited favour and we must learn to appreciate God rather than attribute our survival to any human ingenuity. In the midst of a near-comatose economy that is already flat on its belly, any attempt to lockdown would be counter-productive, as the masses would most likely defy such order.

After all, it is said that a hungry is not just an angry man, he is an unhappy and dangerous man. Our political leaders should better notice the dagger in the eyes of the downtrodden less they mistake a vengeful riot for a thanksgiving carnival.

Vanguard News Nigeria 

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