The coronavirus pandemic is growing on a daily basis. The figures are rising without hope of receding. Like in the local parlance, like play like play, the pandemic is growing in leaps and bounds, overshaowing the strength of the Nigerian medics. The Nigerian government seems to be getting overwhelmed by this great challenge. The big question now is how do we come out of this challenge? What hope do we have in Nigeria?
The greatest challenge is not even the pandemic but the pessimistic approach of the Nigeria people. Nigerians are not ready to believe the coronavirus pandemic is real, despite the rising figure of confirmed cases and rising number of deaths across the 36 states and the federal capital territory, Abuja. Nigerians are bent on seeing the patients as the only reason for them to believe the reality of the figures being released daily by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The government, on its part, is not willing to reveal the identity of the victims, citing stigmatization of the victims as the reason for keeping the victims secret from the Nigeria people. This is one of the biggest dilemmas in Nigeria. With this, there seems to be a cold war between Nigerians and the government over the visual of infected persons and again the results of the persons not being released to them.
With all these, Nigerians have concluded that the federal and state governments are playing hanky and panky games with the people. Even some are of the view that there is connivance between state governors and the NCDC director general, Chikwe Ihekwueazu who is in charge in the federation. Some say over the years, many people never heard of any agency as NCDC but with the outbreak of coronavirus, NCDC is using the opportunity to maximize all the money it could to its kitty.
Nigerians are saying that the western world from where our Nigerian people imported the virus to Nigeria are displaying their victims on the internet with the video and still photos but Nigeria has decided to keep theirs tight to their chest, a development which is fueling serious suspicion across the nation. And despite the cold war raging between the Nigeria people and the government, the figures are growing daily.
On Friday, May 29, 2020, the agency again released a total of 387 confirmed cases across 16 states, with Lagos always taking the lead with 254 cases on a single day. Total infected now 9302 with 261 deaths and 2697 discharged. As at present there is confusion in the country. What is the way forward out of this? Will the nation continue with this and forget about issues of governance and the welfare of the people?
Our school systems are shutdown. Religious centres are holding only skeletal services majorly Sundays with few holding on week days. People have been conditioned to mask wearing wherever they find themselves. Health officials are battling to save lives while some are getting infected from contacts with patients in isolation centres. Even the few who have gone to isolation centres and come back with testimonies of the issues are not believed by the Nigerian people. This is made worse by some who say they went to the isolation centres but only given malaria drugs and discharged after s few days.
So many protocols have been put in place but they seem not working. Social distancing, wearing facemasks, no hand shaking, stay two metres away from people, do not gather in crowded places, all these have not yielded any positive results. People are seen on the streets actually wearing facemasks, a development which has become big business to many people in the country, has not changed the system.
Lockdown was carried out, Nigerians kicked against it, saying Nigerian government was killing people with hunger, where some even said they preferred to die of coronavirus than hunger. These are different issues that become the burden of the government of Nigeria. The federal government seems confused at the moment on the next step to take. One thing is that the government cannot abandon Nigerians to their fate. If it does the whole nation could be wiped out.
As it is now, Nigerians must change their orientation about coronavirus pandemic. They must accept the fact that there is coronavirus in Nigeria and maintain rigidly the health protocols for safety and preservation. This, in addition with maintaining high level of hygiene will keep the nation safe.