Covid19- and the rising global challenge
It would not be an exaggeration to aver that Covid 19 has endangered human race globally in such a manner that is novel. Death tolls in countries like China, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, USA , Germany, Iran and others are rattling and quaking the whole world and make many to be having the fear that the globe is on the verge of the third world war.
What makes the scenario more troubling was the fact that nations, who were rated as super powers and who can render scientific solutions to this scourge are mostly affected , thereby rendering developing ones helpless under this terrible circumstance.
Over 176,000 people have been ravaged by the pandemic with death toll still increasing on daily basis in a mind-boggling spate with no relief in sight to tame the disease.
Most disturbing was the fact that the USA had done a projection and over 100,000 residents of the country might lose their lives before the life-threatening scourge ends, despite the country’s knack for scientific innovation and penchant for technological advancement.
The fact that super power nations like USA , UK, Germany, France and others are nursing a diplomatic grudge against China because of the suspicion that the virus was a product of bio weapon from the country , further buttressed the fact that the world may return to the trenches of war , in no distant time.
Underscoring how terrific the Covid 19 had been, leaders of many nations had been quarantine and isolated having fallen victims. The Prime Minister of Britain, Boris Johnson and the Chancellor of Germany had been victims of the pandemic. Even our own President Muhammadu Buhari and President David Trump, had been tested to ascertain whether they had contracted it but turned out negative.
It remains in history as the first time in 100 years, when the countries of the world be locked down in this manner. With this, it was evident that the malaise is no respecter of anyone, either high or low.
A lot of insinuations have been adduced as responsible for the outbreak. Some said it was a backlash of G5 Communication Technology. Some reasoned that it was a bioweapon released either advertently or inadvertently by China to cripple the world economy to their own advantage.
A proper dissection of the following, in line with the global purse indicated that the second reason sounded more plausible and believable and it was on that basis that the fear emanated that the world may soon plunge into another perilous stage of war.
No one can deny the fact that Nigeria remains one of the worst hit nations. As of now, the economy across the country is gradually being stifled with no production taking place anywhere due to total lockdown placed on virtually all the states, including the the Federal Capital Territory.
Going by the statistics released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on April 22, about 782 Nigerians had contracted the malaise with ten deaths recorded so far , with the number infections still increasing geometrically on daily basis despite the excruciating lockdown slammed on the states.
From both private and public sectors of Nigeria, no gainful productivity is ongoing as of now. The nation’s economy is gradually lying prostrate and this may bring serious economic recession that will mop up every economic gains the present government has brought to bear in the last five years.
Though , we recognise the fact that several efforts are being geared up to sooth the effect Covid 19 on poor Nigerians. Apart from monies being donated by spirited Nigerians, private bodies and international organisations, the country through the Central Bank of Nigeria had also earmarked a sum of N50 billion to give stimulus packages to poor Nigerians.
The federal government has not been resting on its oars to ensuring that Nigerians’ sufferings are palliated by giving out relief materials in terms of cash transfer and food supplement during this stay at home period. About three million Nigerians are expected to benefit from the gestures.
The programmes being prosecuted through the Ministry of Humanitarian Services and Emergency Management had been visiting all the states of the federation to deliver on this mandate. and remarkable progress was being made in this regard.
Some of the state governors has been playing complementary roles to reduce the level of suffering, pains and angst in the country. Less than two weeks ago, Governor Kayode Fayemi distributed food items to 30,000 Ekiti residents with a pledge to increase the tally soon. This was aside from the humongous amounts being donated by eminent Ekiti citizens.
Apart from the high incidences of poverty in the country, available records indicated that over 90 percent of Nigerian population work in the informal sector and rely on daily businesses for survival. Going by this revelation, the government must do more in his support to the people under this terrible circumstance.
It is not an exaggeration that the government at all levels have been doing great to rise to the emerging sordid situation, but the handlers seemed to be messing up the palliatives by way of alleged diversion and distribution to the wrong population. Some also accused the handlers of politicising the programmes in some states.
Governor Fayemi was conscious of the fact that human factor could sabotage the stimulus packages and that was why he ordered that the beneficiaries should be connected directly in their homes.
The upsurge in the number of victims in Nigeria is frightening and disturbing. While some states were still tarrying to act due to lack of political will, Governor Fayemi promptly placed Ekiti under lockdown. This accounted for the low pace of spread in Ekiti and this was commendable. Governor Fayemi also demonstrated good leadership quality when he extended the lockdown by 14 days for the sake of safety of humanity. Ekiti had only recorded 4 cases with efforts being put in place to prevent escalation and those moves were working.
The menace of COVID-19 might end up becoming a blessing in disguise for Nigeria , if the strategic plans that could serve as veritable buffer to the economy are well executed . This is because, the fight had been taken as a collective one and all hands are on deck to resolve it, because where there is a will, there is always a way.
The reports from all the 36 states of the federation as released by the National Human Rights Commission vividly portrayed that over 18 persons had been killed in Nigeria since this lockdown began.
No matter how sweet the whole scenario ends, the pains, the deaths and maltreatments suffered by Nigerians in the hands of security agencies would be difficult to forget.
The take away from the whole sordid scenarios is that, the deaths and sufferings across the globe would strain diplomatic ties among some nations and China and the end result may trigger war if not well managed.
Aluko, assistant Principal, Ikere High School, Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, sent this through firstname.lastname@example.org
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