By Muhammed Saheed Osioyemi
It’s no longer news that the Governor of Kogi, Governor Yahaya Bello, keeps (re) emphasising that the pandemic which has bent all the sectors and frustrated out the derogative realms of all or the whole countries to be in existence. His insistence that the federal government is playing with the lives of Nigerians with an acclaimed faux virus which has led to stacks of hunger is getting out of hands, and something needs to be done to call him to order. It’s pathetic for someone of his calibre to think that the virus is an artificial one aimed at causing fear and panic amid people.
In the face of the virus and rigorous attempt to flatten the curve of the virus, well-meaning Nigerians have been lost to the hands of the pandemic. The late Chief-of-Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Abba Kyari, who till his death projected the present administration well and one that was referred to as de facto president succumbed to this virus. Late Bayo Osinowo, Lagos Senator who represented Lagos East was also dragged to the beneath of the ground by the virus. Some weeks back, the erstwhile Governor of, Mr Abiola Ajumobi Oyo state kicked the bucket to the ugly complications of the plague. These are among numerous bigwigs who had given up the ghost after they wrestled with the COVID-19. A few days ago, Ondo state Governor, Mr Olurotimi Akeredolu also tested for the novel coronavirus. Just yesterday, the result of his wife and one of his security aides came back positive. Still, the virus is artificial creation to Governor Bello.
One will be forced to ask the governor that what more visible and convincing evidence does he need to make him understand that the virus is real. Is he not glancing through the world news and envisage how the virus is claiming lives incalculable? As of June 19, 2020, Brazil has recorded nearly 49, 000 deaths caused by the virus. Nigeria, as of yesterday had 27, 110 confirmed cases; 10,801 patients discharged and 616 deaths recorded. The virus keeps increasing in the country and across the globe, and a governor who is duty-bond to sensitise, admonish and roll out measures to keep the dwellers of the state safe, is the one encouraging negligence and laxity. He keeps fabricating mischief and meddling ‘nonsensical’ words for reasons best known to him.
However, to avert the creation of an erroneous impression about the pandemic to the people which will further lead to careless attitudes towards the virus, and to restrain the people from walking in the same shoe and path with the governor, then the Federal Government should intensify the orientation about the virus. The people should not be left out to wallow in the meaningless words the governor made on the virus. And the governor should be called to order and pushed to a standstill on saying anything about the virus.
If he continues spewing and preaching the nonexistence of the virus (even without substantial evidence) the people would begin to believe in his words against the backdrop that the governor is closer to the Federal Government and the institutions handling it. And at this critical time, the nonexistence of the virus should not be the bone of contention, for the virus is real. What needs to be done is/are measure(s) or way(s) to curb the spread of and incessant deaths by the virus.
Saheed is a political scientist and writer. Email: [email protected]. Tweet: @osioyemi_emehs