- Posted by Editor
- On May 9, 2020
- 0 Comments
The gap between the developed world and the third world nations is truly wide. Progressive African Historians opined that if Nigeria had remained under the British tutelage few years longer, Nigeria would have developed faster after attaining independence. The veracity and fallacy of this argument continues.
This is a wonderful time to be alive. The colonial era contended with malaria fever. Thereafter, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV Aids, Lassa fever, Ebola and now Coronavirus a.k.a Covid-19, the fastest contagious and killer disease in the history of mankind threatened human existence.
The lockdown cannot be said to have originated in Nigeria. China used it without trace of police and military brutality on unarmed citizens. Other civilized nations like Britain, USA, Germany, France, Spain etc applied it without qualms. Even, neighbouring African State like Ghana introduced lockdown with no attendant military casualty. The Nigerian experience was both sad and hilarious. It was a show of shame for the giant of Africa. The 21st century information management is fantastic. The social media relates news faster than the spread of the dreaded Covid-19. There ought to have been concerted efforts put in place to copiously educate the hungry masses before the immediate and drastic remedy of lockdown. The lockdown was a copied product and remedy of PMB’s address to Nigerians; an address delayed more them necessary and belated for obvious reasons.
Management science teaches why people resist change; most especially fierce and abrupt change such as the stay at home order for four weeks and above. It must be admitted that apart from Lagos state where the ebullient Governor did a marvelous job, majority of other states where the restriction was placed merely adopted the strategy without any spade work. There was no adequate education of the masses on the imperative importance of the lockdown. It should be noted that what people do not understand they criticize; what they do not know, they condemn, and what they do not want, they destroy. It would have saved the authorities time to explain to the masses that four weeks and above lockdown falls in line with the version of self isolation as requested by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); bearing in mind the enormity of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.
In one of the Northern States, citizens trooped out on the third day of the lockdown, screaming that hunger had taken over their homes. They argued that they prefer to come out for their mania jobs, contact the dreaded Coronavirus, die in the process than remain at home and die of hunger; after all, “all die na die”. What sense of reasoning, you may ask? Would you blame them for thinking that way? Haven’t you heard that the poor saw Coronavirus as the disease of the rich; bearing in mind the speed with which the Mike Adenugas, the Aliko Dangotes, leading Ministers of God, the conglomerates and the bank donated millions of naira towards managing Covid-19? How often the poor do receive such unmerited generosity, except during elections when they receive pittance to sell their franchise to the mindless greedy politicians?
I must allude to the fact that the Coronavirus appeared on the scene like commando and so, the veritable managers of our national lives were taken unaware. They were confused, bamboozled, shocked and puzzled. In any case, what the masses suffered, few others gained stupendously. The market women used the opportunity to hike prices of all food items. They bragged and insulted buyers I must commend the efforts of our soldiers who came to the rescue of the down trodden ones as they forced down the price of garri, the staple food in the Niger Delta. The same people they protected, they also killed. What an irony of help! Perhaps, this explains why some thinkers see Covid-19 as a third world war. Its emergence and spread was highly supersonic.
The short coming of the soldiers was akin to that of the police. The Inspector General of Police did well. He firmly instructed that earring police officers be investigated and prosecuted. Nevertheless, this did not serve as deterrent.
Some exploited the situation to their own advantage; even, the Rivers State Governor made a remark to that effect during his state monitoring of level of compliance. The Federal Roads Safety Corps and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps enjoyed the action as it lasted. They were full of smiles. It was all moments of happiness. They wished that lockdown lasts till eternity.
The gains of Covid-19 lockdown are legions as the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky enjoined his people to capitalize on the supreme opportunity to go on “baby boom”. House wives became very warm, more receptive, humble, radiant and accommodating.
The most annoying aspect of Covid-19 lockdown was the palliatives. The yams and beans shared were akin to salad of death. At Ovwian, Aladja, Ekete Inland etc and a host of other places, three women were given a tuber of yams to share and a cup of bean each. No naira was attached all that they gave could not feed a family of four for one meal. Politicians are heartless, mindless, hard hearted and grievously dubious.
William Shakespeare argued that all that begins well ends well. This cannot be said of lockdown in Warri as a young man was killed. The anger of the youths of Ugbawague in Delta State on 2nd April, 2020 cannot avoid mentioning. In as much as one does not support lawlessness, life is too precious to be taken by those paid to protect us. What the trigger happy soldier did amounts to costly victory. He flagged down Late Joseph Pessu. He refused to stop. The soldier use the superior power bestowed on him by the state. The lesson learnt is that costly victory brings empty glory; hence, it is usually tagged “pyrrhic victory”. Joseph Pessu is gone. As the French war general, Napoleon Bonaparte argued,… “Death is nothing, but to live defeated is to die every day.”
Now, the foxy dust of Joseph Pessu’s death is clear. It is seems tremendously glamorous to believe. I must thank the hierarchy of the army and the Delta State government for their matured intervention. Conclusively, I do not wish to build defence for the Ugbawague youths who reacted the way they did. Yet, I must stress that oppression usually increases if it is suffered calmly and without protest. Note that opposition give one inner satisfaction, distraction and relief; just as it makes one feel that he is no to completely a victim of the circumstance, as Delta State, may, Warri was not the only city of lockdown.