John Danfulani: Why Nigerians Must Be Cautious Even As Buhari Reopens Abuja,...

John Danfulani: Why Nigerians Must Be Cautious Even As Buhari Reopens Abuja, Lagos [MUST READ]

Buhari provost
President Buhari inaugurates Advisory Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in State House on 10th Mar 2020 | State House Photo

The Federal Government of Nigeria, FGN, ordered reopening of offices and businesses in Abuja on Monday 4th May 2020.

By implication, on Monday, May 4, 2020, will terminate the lockdown regime slammed on Abuja because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

No effort is required to discern that quintessential scientific variables were not perused. And globally certified procedures followed before arriving at the decision. Thus, the decision was masterminded by political and economic reasons that don’t have a base in empirical evidence of surge or spread of the disease, nationally.

Let us juxtapose this decision with some commonsensical procedures:

(a) Has the FGN and owners of private property housing businesses disinfected offices and premises?

(b) Is there a special re-arrangement of the physical working environment to confirm with the golden rule of social distancing?

(c) Have workers in the public and private sectors been tested and statuses are known?

(d) Have public spaces like gardens, walkways, and bus terminuses been disinfected?

(e) Have public spaces been equipped with sanitizers and other disinfectants for users?

(f) Have public spaces been re-arrange to comply with the social distancing directive of WHO and NCDC?

(g) Has the Reality of most Abuja workers live in parts of Kaduna, Niger, Kogi, and Nassara–states that Covid-19 is surging critically assessed?

(h) Was the realism that states that most Abuja workers are living-in are in total or partial lockdown considered?

(i) Were surges in close climes taken to cognizance before the decision?

There is no stressing the fact that afore-posited matters(a-i) are essential pre-conditions for reopening. The FGN, PFT, and NCDC and other chief players in the combat against the pandemic can’t agree less.

Truth be told, FGN’s decision to reopen Abuja on Monday 4th May 2020 was not a product of rigorous assessment of the situation. And concrete steps are taken to avoid endangering workers and people living in Abuja and neighboring states.

We are not apostles of doom and negativity but this decision will surely boomerang. We saw how similar speed in reopening in Germany and other advanced countries converted gains gotten from their initial lockdowns to gargantuan nightmares.

We counsel that decisions bordering management of COVID-19 be surrendered to scientists, not politicians and businessmen. The later creams have proven to be incapable of making decisions that make sense scientifically and empirically. Their core interests are political aggrandizement, exploitation, and primitive accumulation.

Finally, we advise Nigerians to listen to scientists, public health experts, and their doctors not politicians and businessmen who are completely glueless and inherently selfish. There is a regrettable tragedy in listening to politicians and businessmen, now than ever.

John Danfulani, is the chairman, Centrum Initiative For Development And Fundamental Right Advocacy, CEDRA, he is based in Kaduna.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. 

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