Covid-19 Pandemic in Nigeria: My Thoughts

Source: Francis Ojima Akoji Esq.

The pandemic plaguing the human race is no longer a news; the deaf can hear and the blind can see that the world is nursing her wound. There are divergent opinions as to the source of our problems: while some give it divine interpretation and see it as God closing the chapter of the world, others feel it is a product of scientific inquiry and the utilisation of science in the global power play. Whatever name it is called and however it is seen, this appears more as man's karmic credit or discredit for rigorous efforts to defy nature. It is more of nature paying man back in his coin.

Do not get it twisted; yours sincerely will explain this position. This is not God cursing man as insinuated in some quarters. God has not inflicted this pandemic upon us and it is not just about the global power play; it is for me nature taking vengeance, by releasing back to us the toxic substances we have deposited in it. To create comfort, we have threatened aquatic lives, destroyed the beautiful flora and fauna, and now nature reminds us that it is time to effectively use it. Our struggle is to build a strong world economy, we have advanced technologically, developed a rushed and noisy lifestyle with our natural habitat bearing the brunt of the dilapidated structure we build, but now nature has slowed us down naturally. Taken us back to the comfort of our rooms and palaces, given us opportunity to look within and re-examine our lives and stay woke to the futility of life and all we fight and loath each other for.

To the big question, who is worst hit by the pandemic? Here in Africa and particularly Nigeria, we feel the world is grounded and on a slow move, cut it! we are not all in this with same depth. We in Africa especially Nigeria have grounded all activities, and life seem to be on hold. Our educational system is parked up until further longer notice. Our economy is in comatose. It is interesting to note that some other advanced and sophisticated nations did not completely park up. We adopted their damage control policy, but they had systems on ground to cushion the effects of this policy. Through the instrumentality of technology, students in Europe, America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East take lectures and can even sit for examinations from their homes. Students over there can still access their school libraries from the comfort of their homes, only losing the physical contact between lecturer and students. Supermarkets and departmental stores still operate with emphasis on social distancing, but the reverse is the case in Nigeria with hunger staring banefuly at poor citizens. Nations who place citizens interest as a priority, provide a suitable palliative measures, but we are at the mercy of a government who promised a conditional cash transfer to some unknown vulnerable persons.

After all is said and done, the virus will be defeated, but we will be in a cold corner of the world with a priority to resuscitate our economy and systems, while other nations bounce back to normal life. We have just been served our just dessert for long years of ineffective leadership and wanton waste of resources. Our long years of looting and developing other economies by our foreign deposits and investments have just reminded us that when you do not have a road map into the future or at least a backup plan, you simply live in the euphoria of the present and the future does not belong to you. You only rue in the repercussions of your inactions or insensitivity. Our only source of revenue and mainstay of our economy is weakened by the fall in global price. If the coronavirus has weakened the world economy, ours it has murdered and if it has murdered the world economy, then ours it has buried!

In any case, we shall continue to keep hope alive and pray for the best. We pray to come out strong at the end of this plague, but ultimately, may the recent events open the eyes of our minds to realities and make us learn from the mistakes of our past while we pick up the crumbs of the desolate waste. We must be law abiding, obeying government regulations towards ending this pandemic and also assist the medical workers and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) while calling on the blessings of God upon them for the sacrifices they are making in confronting the virus in Nigeria. May God heal the world of all diseases and direct our paths in this turbulent time.

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