A GREAT GBOZAA, TO PHILIP SHAIBU, OUR DEPUTY GOVERNOR, FOR HIS COVID-19 ENLIGHTENMENT DRIVE…
One should express appreciation, and commend our deputy governor, for his engagement in the renewed drive to sensitize people in Edo state to comply with protocols to protect people from the pandemic, currently ravaging the whole world. Some few months ago I drove past Ekehuan Road in Benin City, at its intersection with Adesogbe and Ehaekpen Streets, when I saw the Deputy governor, on the street, supporting the traffic officers in traffic control at the ever busy intersection.
I shook my head in appreciation. This could only have happened in Ogbemudia’s time in the 70s and 80s. Here again yesterday, was the deputy governor on Sapele Road, almost opposite the secretariat buildings, by Onoruyi Street, and NNPC Mega petrol station, joining state officials in the sensitization of the public about the need to comply with CORONA VIRUS self protective measures, for safety.
This is where I really want to talk bout the attitude of our people at home. Some of our people are still in self denial. They are in delusion that it is not African driven, what ever that means. I do not know where they get this confidence. I do not know who tells them that Corona virus is a hoax, I do not know who tells them that herbs and mixed brew medicinal herbs and Chinese foot doctors’ concoctions can wipe it away. Sometimes you have to apply force to make people understand the challenges facing them.
I saw the deputy governor stopping every vehicle passing by and telling passengers and occupants without face masks to come down; I saw the DG walking into the eatery at the spot opposite the petroleum station and asking the workers and telling them the consequences of selling food to people without face masks, or the workers selling food without face masks. This exercise might seem salutary but it sends a clear message to every body. That it is something to be taken seriously.
I do not see any reason why large assemblies such as churches, social events, rallies, wakings, burials, should be excluded from control. I know the churches, event centers, large public spaces would have a hit, with such public policy; but here we are playing with the lives of millions of our people. It is good that schools are closed for now. Open markets should design a format of operation to give protection to patrons.
The enforcers should be monitored and controlled to avoid turning the enforcement to a money minting machine.
Death figures from Corona virus in the United States for this year January 1st to 19fh, 2021, has exceeded 27,000. The overall death rate in the US from the pandemic has exceeded 400,000. People affected has exceeded 2 million. This might look like like a tale from the Arabian night, but this is true, based on their efficient data, statistics and record keeping.
The health and, safety of our people should be uppermost and must supersede the pecuniary interest of churches and event centers who are counting the Naira they are going to lose from any shut down the public policy might impose.
This is a noble effort the public must support and cooperate with the government to ensure its success.
Dr. Osamwonyi Osagiede