Lagos, Ogun, and Federal Capital Territory, FCT last week, members of the Peoples Democratic Party Caucus in the House of Representatives have warned President Buhari to immediately rescind the decision to ease the lockdown in the country.
The caucus recently revealed that opening the economy without bothering about having the right precautionary measures in place for the citizens will only trigger the spread of the virus.
According to the leader of the Caucus, Rep. Kingsley Chinda, human life is obviously not taken seriously by the president, else, such a decision would not have crossed his mind.
He added that it is very clear that the government is more concerned about the economic benefits of the decision and APC has no business preserving the life of the citizens.
His words, “It is very apparent that the government is clearly more concerned about the economic benefits of reopening an already weak and ailing economy than the preservation of human life. This is without a doubt a very callous, insensitive and most unfortunate response by the Federal Government. The only plausible alternative to this is that the government has run out of ideas on what to do”.
“Furthermore, available evidence and statistics from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) show that Nigeria is far from winning the fight against Covid-19, as even within the lockdown, rather than reduce, the casualty rate and the number of those tested positive to the virus is increasing on daily bases.
“Clearly, this should be a matter of great concern to all reasonable and well-meaning persons, irrespective of political, religious or tribal affiliations and/or considerations.
“As a caucus in the House of Representatives, we are deeply worried about this and accordingly hereby express in very strong and unambiguous terms our utmost dismay, concern and total opposition to the stance of the Federal Government to prematurely relax and/or lift the lockdown order in the affected places earlier mentioned, and to hurriedly ask workers back to their offices, while the virus continues to ravage our people and our cities.
“We begin to wonder if the Government had no plans when it ordered the lockdown as lockdowns are not ordered for the fun of it but to curtail the spread and allow the government time to put in place policies and measures to be adopted in public places to check the further spread and manage the affected cases, whilst deploying equipment to different parts of the country and also carrying out the massive test, hoping that within 14 days incubation period that citizens are in isolation, most of the cases would be ripe, traced and managed.
“Unfortunately, while the lockdown was on, our government went to sleep on their core responsibilities and was busy mouthing palliatives without visible action taken.
“Also instructive to note is that whilst declaring a relaxation of the lockdown order, beyond the usual campaign on handwashing; use of hand sanitizers, facemasks and social distancing, the Federal Government obviously did not put in place any other effective measure designed to stop the spread of the dreaded virus.”
“Already, the situation in Lagos and Kano States is scary. These cases and more are enough to cause us even greater anxiety and concern.
“We also take cognisance of the fact that the President Buhari led Federal Government would undoubtedly be failing very woefully in its responsibility of preserving the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which he swore to defend and protect, which provides in Section 14(2) (b) that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government’.
“Equally important and compelling is the provision of Sections 17(3) (c) and (d) of the same Constitution. Whereas Section 17(3) (c) provides that the State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that “the health, safety and welfare of all person in employment are safeguarded and not endangered or abused’, Section 17 (3)(d) provides that the State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that “there are adequate medical and health facilities for all persons.
“Incidentally, over 6 weeks of the pandemic, there is no clear government policy for public places like markets; workplace; public transport etc. Medical facilities are very inadequate. The several States have no test centres and received no support whatsoever from the Federal Government despite humongous sums spent so far, both from public coffers and donations from individuals and organisation.
“It is somewhat difficult, obviously very surprising and disturbing to decipher the genuine reason behind the Federal Government’s sudden decision to relax the lockdown order in the midst of the prevailing and ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.
“Taking into cognisance the experience of other countries where lockdown was prematurely relaxed.”