A coalition of 32 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and six other notable experts under the auspices of Civil Society Alliance Against COVID-19 (CSAA COVID-19) have expressed shock over what they alleged as compromise among stakeholders fighting corona virus in Nigeria.
CSAA COVID-19 in a-joint press release issued on Wednesday, bemoaned that the stakeholders including President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Oshinbajo, ministers, governors, international partners and others leading the fight against the pandemic have been compromised by the actions of the Chief of Staff to President, Abba Kyari, who had been allegedly spotted at public gatherings since returning oversee till he was tested positive to the pandemic this week.
They also expressed shock “Over the news that a number of politicians have been recklessly ignoring measures for isolation of travellers returning from overseas. Most notably, the Chief of Staff to President Buhari, and the Governor of Bauchi State, have tested positive for Covid-19. We are also calling attention to members of the National Assembly and Governors such as those of Abia, Enugu and Imo who have been seen at public events well within the period of 14 days since their return from overseas.
“Our shock stems from their having reportedly ignored established safety protocols and breezed past safety checks to which other Nigerians are routinely subjected. They have exposed an extraordinary swathe of the Nigerian government and public to risks of infection. At this time, we send all of our support and prayers to NCDC, the Ministry of Health, and all of the medical professionals who must put themselves at risk to address this situation. We also stand with all of those who have been in contact with politicians who have acted recklessly and must now endure testing, isolation, and probably repeated screening along with their families and loved ones.”
They, however, called for a collaborative efforts with the government, the private sector, civil society and religious bodies to ensure that testing takes place, while preventive humanitarian response is coordinated, as measures across the board were ramped up towards stopping the further spread of Corona Virus in the country.
“As we make this call to action, we demand that attention is paid to the most vulnerable in our society. While urgent measures need to be taken, they must be well thought through and not harm low income earners and those whose very survival could easily be threatened by badly administered lockdowns. The Federal Government and States must immediately formulate and engage teams that include non-government actors capable of collaborating on this extraordinary challenge,” it added.