The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) continues to recommend that Nigerians avoid large events and gatherings. This is due to the dangerous transmissibility of the Delta and Omicron variants of coronavirus disease 2019. Globally, many Nigerians find themselves in an environment marked with widespread denial of the existence of COVID-19, so it is not surprising that all 36 State Governors of the Nigerian society who should be continuously raising public awareness about the pandemic, are planning to physically gather, thereby behaviorally negating all essential rules of COVID-19, including restrictions on public gatherings and closures, Good God, who does that?
The World Health Organization (WHO) and NCDC continue to insist that despite one taking the COVID-19 vaccines, precautionary behaviors like restricting social, religious, and official gatherings, need to be observed in order to reduce the risk of infecting each other, getting sick, becoming hospitalized or dying.
We know that the disease spreads from person to person through infected air droplets that are projected through sneezing or coughing. It can also be transmitted when individuals have contact with hands or surfaces that contain the virus and touch their eyes, nose, or mouth with tainted hands. Black Africans, by their nature are ‘touchy-touchy’ people, in order words, we are known for our social and interpersonal feelings.
The media tells us that the 36 State Chief Executives of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) will leave their various stations, come together at the NGF Secretariat in Abuja for “a very crucial meeting where pressing national concerns will be discussed” on Wednesday night, January 19, 2022. Why at night?
What ought to be more crucial is saving their own lives and those they will meet during the physical gathering and thereafter, as such they need to rethink and hold the meeting in a telephonic manner or via videoconferencing. This way is still in-person meeting that gathers all the 36 governors and others, except it is by way of remote or digital meeting. An approach that will not only prevent the spread of the virus, but it will also cut costs especially in times like these.
Given our natural intractability and hardiness as Black Africans, I will not be shocked if the governors insist on physical in-door meeting, in that case, it is critical that they practice good judgment by washing their hands constantly, as we are known for shaking and holding hands. They must wear their facemasks constantly and maintain some degree of social distance. And of course, those with symptoms like sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, nausea, or diarrhea must stay away from the meeting physically, and participate electronically. No, Sir, do not send anyone to represent you physically. Again, vaccinated or not, make this meeting virtual! As it will be safer, better, or a faster way to defeat this virus and revitalize our society.
John Egbeazien Oshodi who was born in Uromi, Edo State in Nigeria, is an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government Consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult/child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional and Career Development. A former Interim Associate Dean/Assistant Professor at the Broward College, Florida. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African settings. In 2011, he introduced the State-of-the-Art Forensic Psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C and the Nasarawa State University where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. A Virtual behavioral Leadership Professor at the ISCOM University, Republic of Benin. Founder of the Proposed Transatlantic Egbeazien Open University (TEU) of Values and Ethics, a digital project of Truth, Ethics, Openness. Author of over forty academic publications/creations, at least 200 public opinion writeups on African issues, and various books. He specializes in psycho-prescriptive writings regarding African institutional and governance issues.
Prof Oshodi wrote in via firstname.lastname@example.org