Inadequate COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown Palliative: A deliberate Action by the Government or Lack of Accurate Demographic Data?

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The maturity and efficiency of a government is often put to test in times of crisis as it would be difficult for one to detect flaws in a government in times of peace and serenity.

We must not forget the outcome lessons of this COVID-19 battle after the storm has settled.

Once beaten, twice shy.

But, before I proceed, I would quickly commend our medical team, the paramedics and others that have put their life on the line to be in the frontline in this battle against COVID-19. You are really doing great!

However, many flaws of our government have become obvious in this COVID-19 pandemic and we all must not miss to highlight them, if we really need to move forward as a people and as a nation.

I would not waste time to talk about the inadequacy of our health system, we all know the condition of our health system before the sudden arrival of COVID-19. Perhaps, those that we have entrusted with our national affairs lacked the foresight that one day, they would be locked down at home, in Nigeria, and would be required to treat their sicknesses here in Nigeria. It was a wildest imagination then!

More importantly was that of our lack of think tank system or research and development institution that also became talk of the town in the foray of things. We have to wait for other people, nation to develop concoction of some sort as vaccine or possible treatment for coronavirus before we can take action by queuing on a long line to buy such a vaccine.

Our law makers were even in the business to adopt a vaccine that has not been produced yet! Development of potent vaccine takes longer time. By now, sixty years after independent, we should be able to think by ourselves, on our own as a nation. Imagine! Why must people or a nation continue to be thinking for us as a people or as a nation?

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Also, in this fight against COVID-19, the issue of lack of up-to-date demographic data of the people of Nigeria became obvious! The government did not have indepth knowledge of the people it governs, hence poor decision making. The reason why the masses felt the effect of COVID-19 firsthand. Ordinarily, ordinary Nigerian wouldn’t have give a damn about the virus. Virus no dey fear face?!

This was the major bottleneck when the issue of palliative distribution came to fore. We were faced with the challenges of how many vulnerable people are in AMAC, Abaji, Bwari, and so and so now. No wonder the inadequate palliative materials distribution. How do you think that the vulnerable Igala people in Karu-Jikwoyi is just thirty people?!

HRH. Alhaji Abdulsalam Tijani Musa the Ogah Attah of Igala, and the Onu of Igala, Karu Jikwoyi, FCT., said, “Truly, I am also a COVID-19 Palliative Committee member in AMAC, precisely Karu Ward.

“We were partially part of the people that were distributing the palliative materials that was donated to the vulnerable people of FCT by the honourable minister of FCT, Honourable Musa Muhammad Bello. And it happened to be that the number of the items given were too small to the number of the vulnerable people that came out for collection.

“But by and large, we have to still thank the government for what they have done but we are still expecting more because some of us could be able to scratch up and down to be able to satisfy people a little which we know we can never satisfy them in totality.

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“Even the government himself said that we should start, may be as time goes on, more may come on the way and that is how I have been able to go up and down to see how I can be able to reach out to people.

“Though in my own ward, the palliative was distributed through the traditional ruler; that is tribal community leader, and Dagachi as well as Hakimi of the community.

“So, what came to me as the tribal chief of Igala people, Karu-jikwoyi was a condiment, thirty pieces and rice thirty pieces. That is just thirty pieces, let me call it thirty pieces because one condiment and one rice (goes together) is to be given to one person.

“Invariably, people that gathered in my palace are over two hundred. I don’t have a choice than to go extra mile to make sure I give the little I can do which is still not yet okay and I have to equally beg others to go and wait when next have been provided or I have made by myself, I would still call on them, I would still give to them again.

“That is how I was able to manage. But that is the material that was given to me as confirmed by Esu of Jikwoyi whom I collected the material from.

HRH Abdulsallam confirmed that people are really suffering under the hammering head of the lockdown.

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He said, “The HungerVirus is more serious in Jikwoyi than the Coronavirus. That is the reality, the hungervirus is more serious in Jikwoyi, Karu ward, in fact in AMAC as a whole in FCT more than the COVID-19, the coronavirus that we are talking about.

“That is the reality. Because if person has to come out just for the purpose of two and half mudu of rice to trek from a long distance which amounted to, even if you enter Okada (bike) is about twho hundred to three hundred naira and they don’t even have. They have to trek to come and take this palliative. You can imagine what it is. So, people are suffering, that is the reality, people are suffering.” he concluded.

If we must move forward as a people and as a nation, we must be able to plan ahead. And we cannot adequately plan ahead without adequate demographic data of the citizen.

Any responsible government must prioritize adequate statistical data mining, as this is the bedrock of any meaningful development as a people and as a nation.

Abdulrahman Obaje writes from the Federal Captal Territory, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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