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Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Covid-19: The Copy And Paste Policies Of The Nigerian Government And The Reality Of Hunger In The Country

Covid-19: The Copy And Paste Policies Of The Nigerian Government And The Reality Of Hunger In The Country

Approach to issues that have direct bearing with citizens' wellbeing/welfare as being showcased by both the federal and state governments in Nigeria particularly within the South-East region, to say the least, is disappointedly appalling. This lackluster attitude has gravely heightened emergency responses directed at controlling the dreaded coronavirus pandemic that is presently plaguing the world. It is unfortunate therefore, that the South-East Governors led by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, have very shamelessly, exhibited their insensitivity to the inherent hunger staring the citizens in the face.

The sit-at-home directive as issued by these respective governments, equally brought about border closures. Reactions gathered by Family Writers Press International from cities across the South-East and South-South zones of Nigeria and the outcry of the masses, remain the same: "We are dying of hunger". The people are angrily stating that if the governments and the regions fail to reverse the compulsory lockdown of activities, sooner than later, records of casualties/deaths would begin to surface as a result of the effects of hunger on the people more than that of the covid-19 scourge.

Correspondents of Family Writers Press International based in Enugu, Port Harcourt, Awka, Abakiliki, Asaba, Nnewi, Yenegoa, Owerri, Umuahia, etcetera, reported that residents are bitterly complaining of forced hunger resulting from the Nigerian government's policy directives on the deadly coronavirus disease. Contact with an anonymous driver of Peace Mass Transit  (PMT) commercial vehicle plying from Enugu to Abuja, complained against the manner in which yet to be seen patient/victim of covid-19 since it's purported outbreak, is seriously inhibiting him at the moment from feeding his family.

A prominent building materials dealer, Chief Anthony Okafor, based in Awka, Anambra State, whose store has been under lock and key for two weeks now, was also reached. He decried the unfortunate approach adopted in this part of the world when countries in Europe, Asia and America are making their lockdown policies for control of covid-19 with adequately humane palliative measures to reduce the uncomfortable effects on their citizens. Both federal and state governments in Nigeria are doing absolutely nothing appreciable for the people while reeling out their policies against the same pandemic.

Visit by Family Writers Press International to the mechanic villsge at Elekahia, Port Harcourt, further confirms the same plight. A mechanic there stated that although he daily comes to his workshop but there is apparently no vehicles for him to carry out repairs due to the existing interstate commuting lockdown by state governments. In Owerri, Imo State,  interviews were conducted on the streets of the city with residents pointedly stating that the Nigerian government is gradually pushing the people into a potential revolution by reason of the rate of hunger presently ravaging the land.

It becomes evidentially right therefore, to conclude that the emergency directive of the stay at home order issued by virtually all the governments of states in the Nigerian federation is totally jaundiced and a "copy and paste" policy bereft of compassion. It is in this copy and paste methodology that the state governors appear stocked in abysmal dilemma. Other countries of the world, having the holistic interest of their citizens at heart, intelligently adopted measures with considerable implications. It is unfortunate that the so-called South-East and South-South states  governments are proudly busy, forcing the people to stay indoors with well armed soldiers and other security operatives exerting brutality on the citizens.

There is no commensurate provision of essentials to cushion the effects  of this order on the poor masses especially those who engage on daily labour for feeding. Presently, there exists in some states, total lockdown of business activities which include sales of foodstuffs. A businessman, Mr. Chikodiri Eze, carrying out his activities beside Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka, Anambra State, revealed to Family Writers Press International that the state government has put up an announcement, ordering a total lockdown in the state with effect from Tuesday 14th April, 2020. He clearly stated that by the announcement, nobody is expected to be seen outside his/her compound with the exclusion of armed military personnel that would be moving around to enforce the directive. In Awka and it's environs, as at the time of filing in this report, there exists a serious confusion with the masses converging in groups angrily expressing how they would cope with the upcoming wave of frustration and hunger.

Conclusively, it is important to bring to the knowledge of these governors, that one needs to firstly stay alive before battling against coronavirus. In as much as it is important to stay healthy and avert killer diseases, the masses welfare/wellbeing need be given premium attention by any government that is worth it's onions. That is the norm in civilized societies. What is presently happening in this part of the world, only succeeds in instilling fear and tension in people whose major concern is their survival in an unfriendly economic and socio-political environment. Those at the corridors of power should just proactively do the needful to avert an unprecedented revolution in the midst of the prevailing global covid-19 pandemic.

A word is enough for the wise!

Written by Onyebuchi Eze

Edited by Peter Oshagwu
For Family Writers Press International

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