220 views | Emmanuel Anthony | April 24, 2020
Following the demand for an inter-state two weeks lockdown, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has asked the 36 State Governors to give daily quality three squares meals to residents of their states from their huge and unaccounted security votes.
HURIWA in a statement by its National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko described the inter-State lockdown decision as ‘inhuman, wicked, atrocious and heartless.
The right group said that the 36 State governors whimsically reached an irrational and belated decision for a total lockdown for two weeks at the time that virtually all committed and civilized nations have managed to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease in their nations.
It said this is because politicians at both the National and subnational levels in those countries worked meticulously on the unified and science-based measures across the territorial geography and not in piecemeal as is the case unfortunately in Nigeria.
The group accused the 36 state governors of working at cross purposes due to the absence of charismatic leadership in Abuja.
HURIWA further criticised the federal government and the governors for failing to approach the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria like other fellow African political leaders such as Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda or the Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo.
“It is well known that if not for the charismatic leadership of President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Ghana’s scenarios would have assumed a basket case in no time. Note that the West African nation of Ghana that is a neighbour to Nigeria but with fewer natural resources is one of the continent’s most impacted countries in terms of coronavirus infection. The country has recorded 636 confirmed cases (as of April 15). The first cases were confirmed on March 12, 2020.
“The government has achieved the phenomenal record of distinction of being lauded for its progress in the area of testing. Although Ghana placed a distant second behind South Africa according to a recent report by Worldometer – a site that specializes in global statistical aggregation, it still dwarfed Nigeria the supposed giant of Africa and the nation that just before the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic was the largest economy in Africa but yet the testing capacity of Nigeria for COVID-19 is outrageously disappointing when compared to Ghana.
“This is because whereas the Ghanaian leader leads the National unified efforts of their nation against the coronavirus pandemic, the Nigerian leader is more of a recluse who has never been seen by the citizens in public but rather chose to speak to the citizens via a pre-recorded television broadcast. Ghana Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah in reacting to the increase in cases stressed that it was largely due to proactive measures by the government.”
HURIWA, therefore, called on Nigerians to insist that the minimum benchmark for accepting the further draconian 14 days total inter-state shutdown is for the governors to transparently utilize their security votes through the community, Religious and respected stakeholders to feed the poor people of their states with three quality square meals per day.
It urged Nigerians not to accept anything less than this ‘irreducible minimum benchmark adding that the governors must make adequate logistical arrangements to provide 24/7 security to all parts of the 36 states of the Federation to check the expected rise in violent crimes and attacks by hoodlums and kidnappers on vulnerable communities in their states.