By Ralph Madugu
In a release titled ‘Review of War Against COVID-19’ and signed by NCGF National President, Prof. Charles Adisa, and General Secretary, Pastor Onyenachi Nwaegeruo, the group said that it received reports from its members across the that the distribution of palliatives and lockdowns by the state and federal governments were marred by corruption and high handedness.
NCGF assured Nigerians that Nigeria would, by the grace of God, win the war against the coronavirus despite the difficulties involved.
The group advised Nigerians to observe the directives on staying at home and personal hygiene and called on Nigerians to pray to God, the great healer and deliverer, to save our nation.
“We therefore advise on a home-made strategy to suit our circumstance. These include: community segregation which will see closure of main markets while neighborhood markets should be open; enforcement of universal wearing of face masks which should be provided to the entire population; allow small offices and artisans to open, but ensure social distancing and provision of hand washing facilities in public places.”
According to NCGF, it also reviewed the crime rate and criminal activities and found that it is becoming alarming that if not checked citizens may lose more to criminals than to the pandemic and further cautioned that there may be a total breakdown of law and order. It however, called on the law enforcement agencies to rise to the occasion and checkmate citizens with criminal tendencies before the matter gets out of hand.
Expressing worry over the attitude of some of the security operatives in the attempt to enforce the rules, “out of selfishness and act of unprofessionalism” they security have killed more citizens than the pandemic stating that at the last count more than 20 Nigerians have been shot dead, others extorted by security agencies.
“We are aware that the Human Rights Commission has and is documenting these extra judicial killings and human right abuses. We call on the relevant authorities to ensure that those who violate the rights of citizens in this circumstances are brought to book.
It further disclosed that after a review of the testing, recovery and fatality rates so far, NCGF opined that, though there is a relative improvement on testing rate, there is need for an increase in the number on daily basis so as to have a clear assessment of the number of the infected.
It also expressed dishappiness over the implication of the involvement of Chinese medical personnel despite all entreaties by the Nigerian Medical Association and the entire nation, yet the federal government went ahead to bring in the Chinese cautioned the federal government against creating what it termed a hitch on the prosecution of this war as an attempt to lose confidence and cooperation of the Nigeria Medical Association at this critical moment will spell doom to the nation.
NCGF warned that henceforth, the office of the chief of staff should neither override nor undermine elective offices as was the case with the former occupant.
“Finally, we considered the implication of the Federal government handling of the sickness, death and burial of former chief of staff to the president, Mallam Abba Kyari on the war against COVID-19 pandemic and observed that government demonstrated high level of recklessness and irresponsibility in breaking rules it set up for the prosecution of the war. A government that makes laws and breaks the law as it is common with this Administration should not expect to be taken serious by her citizens. We note the apologies offered by the Presidential Task Force on the management of COVID-19 and advise that Federal government should purge itself of acts of indiscipline as its conduct has put the safety of the citizens in jeopardy.
“It is our prayer that both governments and citizens will conduct themselves decently in these trying times. God seeing our humility will help us out.”