Ben Ayade, the governor of Cross River State has warned against the looming danger of survival after COVID-19.
Ayade, in a statement on Monday, April 13, 2020, by his special adviser media and publicity, Christian Ita, warned that protecting lives without protecting livelihoods of Nigerians would spell doom for the nation after COVID-19 as hunger might be the next deadly virus.
He said: “Globally, hunger and hunger-related diseases like kwashiorkor and tuberculosis kill about 8.4 million people every year and so, there would be more pandemic when it comes to hunger.
“So, we will do all we can to curtail the pandemic from spreading to our state and protect lives too but the protection of lives without the protection of livelihoods is a complete imbalance. There must be holy matrimony between the protection of lives and the protection of livelihoods.
“Some of our brothers and sisters depend on daily work. If you carry blocks for a living, the day you are stopped from going to work, there will be no money to feed the children.”
He stated that COVID-19 would not stop his administration from focusing on its agro-industrialization drive, adding that the state-owned ultra-modern rice seeds and a seedling factory were unrelenting in producing rice seedlings at this time.
Meanwhile, a former chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, in Cross River State, Goddie Akpama, has expressed displeasure over the purchase of 50 brand new cars by Governor Ben Ayade to fight the dreaded Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
He described it as a waste of resources.
In a statement made available to journalists in Calabar, Akpama, a former governorship candidate of the Peoples Progressive Alliance, PPA, stated that the money used in the purchase of the cars by the governor could have been used in setting up a testing center and equipping isolation centers in the event of an occurrence of the virus in the state.
“Let me state categorically that the 50 cars are a misplaced priority because they cannot address the immediate health challenges the state is faced with. Having looked critically at the use which those cars have been put to, I am of the view that purchasing more ambulances would have been better for the state because they would serve present and future uses in cases of health emergencies,” he said.
Akpama, who stated said that though there was no officially reported case of Coronavirus in the state, said the period of absence of any positive case should serve as a window of opportunity for adequate preparation against it because it has no boundary.
He said that he was of the opinion that the funds expended in the purchase of the 50 cars could have been applied in setting up at least one testing center, and well-equipped isolation centers in each of the three senatorial districts so that people can easily access the needed attention when it becomes necessary.
Akpama also took a swipe at the compulsory wearing of masks imposed by the governor on people of the state, stating that if wearing of the nose masks serve as prevention against contracting Coronavirus, there wouldn’t have been any need advising people to wash their hands regularly, maintain personal hygiene, and maintain social distancing.