COVID-19 spread: Protect South West now, Agbekoya tasks State Governors
By Tunde Olatubosun
The Governors of the South West have been asked to rise to the occasion of protecting the South West territories from the spread of COVID-19 from other states.
In a statement on Thursday, Agbekoya Reformed Society condemned what it described as Federal Government’s overload over strategies for the control of the spread blaming the entire scenario on the Nigerian default Federalism. The group said with the level of contempt, superstition and myth many Northern States associate with COVID-19, the South West including Itsekiri area of Delta State, Kwara and Kogi States should take firm decisions to prevent the spread of the disease from the core Northern States.
The statement signed by its President General Chief Kunle Oshodi and the Publicity Secretary, Oyetunde Oyewale, the group said there was no reason why the South West Governors should continue to operate open borders in dealing with the pandemic.
“We are aware of the mysterious deaths in Kano. We are aware of the discovery of 16 Almajiri who have tested positive from COVID-19 in Kaduna and the fact that these people were repatriated from Kano by the state Government, we must now feel deeply concerned about the spread of the disease to the South West States” Agbekoya stated.
The group said “We doubt Federal Government’s ability to curb the rising scale of the Covid 19 pandemic especially as it is turning into a community outbreak in Kano, Gombe, Nasarawa. We call on all the South West Government’s to block all the border points to the South West region of the country for a period of 30 days”
Agbekoya Reformed Society blamed Federal Government’s lack of preparedness to decisively tackle the pandemic as some state Governments are presently doing, for the upsurge being witnessed in the country.
It said further that “the Federal Government’s lack of transparency in meeting it’s social obligation to the Nigerian populace is worrisome. Palliatives to soften the hardship created by the pandemic lockdown is being distribute without inclusion of social and cultural organisations but left at the impulse of those in power.”
The Agbekoya Reformed Society called on all the governors of the South West State to tighten their borders stating that with the impending explosion of the contagious disease in the northern states, most of their infected people may be heading south to seek for proper medication.
Agbekoya Reformed Society drew the governors’ attention to the fact that the menace of herdsmen in the South West did not start in a day
.The organization recalled that stated that influx of the herdsmen was as a result of large scale insecurity in the north coupled with the search for greener pastures.
The organization said if the governments of Niger State, Adamawa and even Kano amongst others were able to turn back trailer loads of their fellow Northern States back to where they were travelling from, it said the South West States governors have more than enough reasons to protect their common interests to protect Yoruba territories.
The Agbekoya Reformed Society called on the Federal and South West states to include more interest groups and professionals to join hands with committees set up to fight the virus.
The organization emphasised that palliatives put in place by the Federal government to cushion effect of the lockdown on the citizens especially on the masses but be done in a transparent, open and inclusive manner. that cannot feed their family without coming out to work or sale on daily basis and the lockdown should not be too prolong and necessary facilities should be put in place as a matter of urgency.