BETWEEN NIGERIANS AND COVID-19 SCOURGE

By

Ishowo Oluwatosin

Just like soccer game among football clubs, so it is between Nigerians and the Corona virus pandemic. In fact, if a betting site could be developed just like bet9ja for the virus, Nigerians will bet on the virus among states and the (un)established daily figures by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The existence of the virus is not disputed by Nigerians but the lack of transparency and accountability of figures released daily is questionable. One would think it’s a La Liga league table where Real Madrid managed to beat Barcelona in El-Classico to be one point ahead on the league table only to disappoint their fans against Real Beltis. That’s the case of Lagos and Kano State and the number of cases announced daily. Even though Lagos State is leading with points on the COVID table, Kano is not giving up and sits comfortably at the 2nd spot. Though Kano wasn’t in form at the beginning of the season and were behind, they are still hopeful of lifting the league.

The kleptomaniac urge of our politicians and NCDC has also dashed the trust of Nigerians towards the government and handling of the virus. In reality, Nigerians believe the virus exists but argue the figures are exaggerated. The altercations between Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Prof Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State on the one hand and NCDC officials on the other remain a contentious issue. As in the football league, Nigerians stay awake as if they were waiting for score card from NCDC, the umpire of Covid-19 league season.

Nigerians are ambivalent towards the virus, this is simply because the goodwill FG enjoyed was squandered. If not, what explains people on twitter spamming NCDC tweets and comments under the President’s official handle after virtual meeting with the Governors?

People have fickle mind towards the Government without even being goaded by the propaganda of any opposition. The anti-corruption drive of the administration is now suspect as the Vice President who is highly or slightly admired by Nigerians based on castellated perception also became “outlandish spender”, all in the guise of attacking virus spread frontally. It is even bizarre to note that Office of the Accountant General of the Federation got burnt after coasting in billions of Naira in donations, barely 24 hours after Senate demanded accountability on how the cash transfer to vulnerable households was made. The presidency is inadvertently building a retinue of post Covid-19 billionaires as lack of transparency dots its economy of the global health challenge.

This explains why it is difficult to blame the few we believed to be “insane” for not believing the virus is real, even those that willingly believed and those that forced themselves to believe after Abba Kyari’s death are trying hard to convince themselves that it is not realistic again. Response teams across the states are fishing patients without gloves or face masks themselves, despite the established human-to-human transmission. Nigerians are wondering if those NCDC members are not immune to the virus or they have “Corona Odeshi or “Ayę Corona”.

If people are not dying like other countries, government should thank all those whatsapp voice notes that scared the people on the virus except the 5G theorists. Nigerians should also thank the government for trying so hard to prevent high death rates. Seems God is pleased with Nigeria than other countries of the world. The prayers in stock in heaven due to the number of mosques and churches we have is working, we can’t boast of a good foreign reserve on earth but we can at least boast of the prayer reserves with the Almighty. This survival is miraculous.

Someone needs to tell the government that the good will and support they are enjoying is gradually flying through the window and before it gets worse, the errors should be fixed.

Nigerians now see the virus as webisode. Nigerians await episodes daily like Netflix series. They’ve even fixed a star-studded match between NCDC and EFCC once the virus is over. You can’t blame Nigerians for being incurably pessimistic as the characteristic suspicion was fuelled by deliberate mortgaging of good will by those whose fundamental job was to preserve it. The media is filled with interviews that contradict the reality in other countries, no thanks to conflicting and self contradicting positions of WHO and NCDC respectively. From hoarding patients test results to nearly anyone that is tested becoming positive, isolation centres have been reduced to event centres in the Covid-19 league. Malaria, TB, Lasser Fever and other diseases must have a strong destiny to find themselves competing, inconsistently, with Corona virus in Nigeria. These ailments and other chronic diseases, save malaria, have been relegated in the league season.

The virus is real but the diabolical approach to containment has left many wondering whether government is serious about fighting the scourge. This is because the government may be inadvertently creating a retinue of Covid-19 billionaires after the pandemic.

Even though our Covid-19 managers, including some state governors who have now attached religion and politics to Coronavirus fight, are trying to drive us insane, don’t let us get crazy. Let’s stay safe as no one debates in heaven.

ISHOWO, Isiaq Oluwatosin
Gmail: [email protected]
Twitter: @Tosinishowo

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