Global health challenge

Man does not learn from history. Nothing is new. Every bad thing has happened at some point in time, the Coronavirus scare is no different. Why then does man never prepare for emergencies until they befall man?

Nigeria is a country with too much potential but she is one of the poorest countries in the world. This status in the public domain should make her catalogue her problems like the Dutch did with their Dutch disease and solve her problems but she never finds a way to address critical issues in time.

When some of the wealthiest countries in the world began to panic and started putting measures in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, Nigerian government did nothing but waited until the virus entered Nigeria and started the rat race. Government officials politicise everything, even a simple assignment as the president addressing the nation. I wonder when our emergency response will become fully functional.


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Life is gradually beginning to return to China before the second wave reported from people just returned to China with the virus and Nigeria is advocating shutting down the country. What does that say about the type of response system in place in Nigeria to tackle challenges? Is health care a priority for our society? If it is, our borders should have been shut before the first case was reported in Lagos. Leadership is a gut-level occupation.

It is hoped that this virus won’t overwhelm Nigerians as it has in Italy. Our economy is an informal one and people earn daily income in Nigeria only a handful of people work in established sectors with guaranteed salaries if they are made to stay indoors even for one year. What about the majority with no source of income?

Stay safe; but people cannot be safe without money and food to eat. Many Nigerians are facing financial stress. I do not see strategic food reserves anywhere; hand sanitizers are expensive only because many sellers have latched on the universal health challenge to fleece Nigerians. Many a Nigerian profit from adversity without dissimulation, instead of showing love.

Leaders at this critical period in our history should decide what role they want to play in the lives of Nigerians – a positive or negative part. This is no time for people who can afford to feed on government’s purse to begin to put fears in the minds of Nigerians. They need to help Nigerians in deed because the currency of fear in the air is becoming worse than the virus itself.

Shutting down the country as a measure to slow down the spread of the virus and safeguard the most vulnerable should be done with love and concern for those not financially secure to be sequestered or those who frown at sequestration or who may resist it from their body language especially since there wouldn’t be palliative measures by government to make life bearable for them. Nigeria is a country of self-help people.

Simon Abah,




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