Press "Enter" to skip to content

Golden Pen By Austin Okoro: COVID 19 And The State Of The Nation

The Coronavirus outbreak has actually crippled the economic activities of the nation. Every state in Nigeria is either partially or totally locked down for fear of Coronavirus disease.

Nigeria as of today has recorded more cases of the disease than other African countries. We heard that more than two hundred persons have been infected with the virus and they are undergoing treatments. We also heard that about six people have died already including a medical doctor from Katsina state who was taking care of patients. But whichever way our country must move forward.

What worries me most in this episode is the way the national leadership is handling cash meant to solve this problem. We have learned through confirmed media that several billions of naira have been spent already. We heard that the National Assembly is demanding accountability from the Finance Minister, accountant general and others about their expenses so far. We have heard that the office of the accountant general has gutted with fire.

It is truly unfortunate that a leadership that is fighting corruption is now swimming in it. So many deceptive stories have been circulating in the Media Hub. The Federal government said the school feeding program will continue even though the children are at home, what arrant nonsense? How can you feed children who are at home? I think it is a scam or a way to divert fund but it is unfortunate it came from the president.

The Minister of Finance said that they are sharing twenty thousand naira (#20,000) to the vulnerable people in our society especially in the North. She also said it will take place in the South East since there are no poor people there, it is very bad. The fact that Igbos are enterprising does not mean that there are no poor people there.

But the truth is that they are diverting funds and don’t want Igbos to catch them in their nefarious act But I thank the governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma who I learned dragged them to Imo State to replicate what they are doing in the North, we are watching.

At the state level, such evil actions are not lacking. We have heard that some states are sharing food items and even money. In Lagos states for instance where the main action is taking place, we learned that government agents gave half bags of rice and beans to a whole zone to share. This is corruption in the highest order. A lot of criminality is ongoing in almost all the states of the federation in the name of fighting COVID 19.

I can’t drop my pen without giving kudos to those that are getting it right. I must say kudos to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who not only took it upon himself to fight the virus in his state but ensured that the welfare of the people is in order.

The governor of Lagos, Mr. Babajide Sanwo Olu who took proactive steps in the fight should be commended. The governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma is not doing badly kudos to him also. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, he has ensured that the disease did not enter the state by providing strict measures. He has established six Isolation centers in the three zones of the state with world-class equipment. He has paid salaries to workers and has short down the state.

He, also provided security vehicles, to ensure the protection of life and property. This is a welcome development. Although as Oliver Twist, we need some more. The governor should share food items to all the citizens of the state to cushion the effects of hunger caused by the sit at home order.

Nigeria as a country should ensure transparency in the sharing of whatever palliatives brought to the people by the federal government. The issue of discrimination should be jettisoned in this period of calamity. And I know that no matter what the dreaded disease will do, we shall overcome.

Another advice is that any official caught trying to divert what is meant for the people should be dealt with to serve as a deterrent to others. Nigeria must survive.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *