COVID-19: Wike’s measures will be counterproductive if without a human face ― Abe

Senator Magnus Abe has warned that the measures put in place by Governor Nyesom Wike to fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Rivers State will prove counterproductive if he fails to apply his policies with a human face.

The former representative of Rivers South-East Senatorial District at the National Assembly gave the warning in a statement signed and issued by his media aide, Saroh Benson, on Wednesday.

Abe  also averred that the war against the pandemic was fundamentally about collective humanity and therefore must be fought on strictly humane and just terms.

Declaring that Wike was embarking on “a dangerous gamble”, Abe said “the demolition and auction of private property, the closure of all sources of survival for citizens of the state without due consideration to their means of sustenance in the name of the battle against COVID-19, were draconian measures that will prove counterproductive in the long run.

“I am constrained to say these few words on the worrisome development in my dear state, Rivers. Lockdowns should come with clear provisions for the sustenance of the people, particularly the vulnerable population (the young, the old, the sick and the infirm).

“Exemptions must be made for emergency and essential services, such as foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, press, medical care, and security services, electricity, telecom, fuel supply etc.”

The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Senator  Abe asserted that the present fight against COVID-19 in Rivers “runs the risk of dividing the state into two distinct camps.

“These are those who support the governor and will justify, glorify and applaud any action taken by the Rivers State government, no matter how callous and ill-advised and those who oppose the governor and will oppose every action of the state government, no matter how well thought out or well intentioned the action may be.”

Noting that the state would suffer in such a situation, he said, “This need not be so. There is still time for the Rivers State government to reconsider its strategy and understand that this is a scientific war against a virus and all of us will need to be involved.

“At this rate, the government may win the lockdown battle and lose the war. COVID-19 is going to be here for some time and we need the goodwill and cooperation of the majority of our people to win the war against this virus.

“True victory will be when we survive united in utmost solidarity and our economy rebounds as we hope for recovery and prosperity. This war is fundamentally about collective humanity, it must, therefore, be fought on strictly humane and just terms.”



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