Ayade Vs Covid 19:a Fight To Finish!
Mixed reactions have trailed the position of Cross River as a leading state in Nigeria in the fight against Corona Virus scourge code named COVID 19.
The lastest that is heard is the verification visit by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to confirm true situation of things in the state, which prides itself as Nigeria's number one tourism destination.
According to them, "Nigerians have been asking questions as to why Cross River State is still free of COVID19, even at the National level we became worried that the state might just be doing nothing and thereby forming a reservoir of the virus. This made the minister of Health and the PTF to send a scope team to validate what is going on in Cross River state".
In all, the truth or falsehood in all arguments does not change the fact that the Governor has staged a good fight against the dreaded virus and fought it to a standstill. Even if any case is discovered hereafter in this cause, history will have it that while the COVID 19 was ravaging states and countries of the world, Ben Ayade protected his people, 'no soul was lost in the heat of it all'.
Just like in the case of Madagascar, a country which announced it's first case very recently, when first world countries are losing its citizens in numbers. In the wake of the outbreak, the African country had put to work it's best scientists and herbs ... the outcome is the herbal concursion which, to a good extent protected the citizens and is exported to several countries in quantities.
Moreso, it is important to note that there is an economic side to the story, the measures taken to curb the scourge globally had shutdown the economy, leaving all sectors struggling at it's lowest level ever in decades.
Prof Ayade is still on top of his game in that regard, working for the state and for the people, his novel 'no mask no movement' initiative did not just serve the purpose of protection, but also ensured that business went on as usual for the citizenry, only with a few conditions and attention to public health. This saved the day, as Cross Riverians went about their economic activities observing physical social distancing and covering with nose mask, with a proactive taskforce to enforce same.
Furthermore, Governor Ayade boosted the economy by creating 8,000 jobs through the 'Job Carnival', and recently, another 1,000 were employed at the Garment Factory to meet the increasing demands for the facemasks nationwide.
Thus, the NCDC described Cross River State as deserving of its corona virus free status, their officials reaffirmed during the visit to the state. The leader of the team, Dr Omobolanle Olowu, lauded the state governor, Sir Ben Ayade for his strong leadership in the battle against the pandemic, successfully keeping it away from the state. She also expressed delight at the level of compliance with the no mask no movement policy of the government.
“The Federal Government strongly Commends the Action Governor of Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade, and his energetic team who started response in January when others still lived in denial. They (Cross River) deserve to still be without a case of COVID-19.
“The governor was proactive in shutting down borders, screening visitors and suspected cases and initiating the no mask no movement campaign in Nigeria,” she said.
“From all I have seen, this is a great response in Nigeria. Cross River has honestly done well. There is a lot to learn from Cross River as best practice for Nigeria. Nigeria should give Cross River State accolades for producing face masks, Face Shield, PPEs in its Garment Factory.”
While news of reported cases continue to fluctuate, the nation is making plans to ease restrictions and maintain the status quo of what is now known as the 'new normal', Cross River State is already prepared to forge ahead, the governor has ordered 'Resumption of Public Worship' in the state, as confirmed in a release signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Christian Ita.
According to the statement "However, conscious of the Spiritual Economy, and in response to appeals by religious leaders in our state, His Excellency has issued the following executive orders:
'The order suspending public worship in the state, is hereby lifted with effect from Sunday May 24th. 2020. Consequently, starting from Sunday, May 24, 2020, church services are permitted but should be limited to the sitting capacity of the Church. Same applies to the Mosques'.
The Use of nose mask remains compulsory for all worshipers, also, Churches and Mosques should provide buckets for hand washing, or sanitizers.
Churches and Mosques are advised to strickly keep to the above instructions, as the enforcement team will still go around to check compliance across the state.
Mr Ita says " His Excellency, Sir Ben Ayade KSJI, the Governor of Cross River State, is very grateful to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Pastors, Christians of various denominations, and the entire Muslim community for their support and cooperation during the period of suspension of public worship in our state in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
His Excellency acknowledges that the understanding and cooperation of religious leaders contributed immensely in keeping our State Coronavirus Free thus far ".
This means that Cross River is on its highway to returning to face other issues affecting it's citizenry, serving as an example of a leadership that fought the virus to finish, causing encomiums from all quarters to pour on the Governor for the feat.
© Nelson NseAbasi