By Franklyn Isong
5 days ago, when Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, tested positive to coronavirus (COVID-19), the Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi and chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, advised all the governors to run the test and go on self-isolation pending the outcome of their tests’ result. I don’t know how many state governors took him serious.
Yesterday, 28th March, 2020, when Kaduna Governor, Nasir El-Rufai announced the outcome of his test result as positive, one could only imagine the number of people who have had contact with him before yesterday, given that he wasn’t on self-isolation.
The senator, representing Osun Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Ajibola Basiru has been on self-isolation after a trip to the United Kingdom.
“Contrary to the reports that all the Senators that travelled to the United Kingdom for the Petroleum Oil and Gas seminar have not complied with the protocol on precautionary steps on COVID-19, I have been in self-isolation since I returned from the UK,” Basiru who is the chairman, Senate Committee on Diaspora, Non-Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Organisations, said via his Twitter handle.
Basiru, was reacting to a letter sent to the National Assembly leadership by the Presidency accusing the National Assembly members who recently returned from a foreign trip of refusing to subject themselves to the screening at the airport.
In the same vein, I plead with all Akwa Ibom National Assembly members, state lawmakers, other government officials and private individuals who returned from foreign trip after the outbreak of this pandemic to subject themselves to the test and go on self-isolation pending the tests’ result.
Unlike Senator Ajibola Basiru, I have not read anywhere of any Akwa Ibom National Assembly member or member of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly being on self-isolation after returning from foreign trip. Though, it is not mandatory to go public with the information, but to clear the air of doubts, like Senator Basiru has done to his Osun Central Senatorial District people.
Thank God, the virus has not yet been recorded in Akwa Ibom state and God willing may not be recorded.
Our leaders should lead us by example. There is absolutely no need of groundstanding, if we must curb the spread of COVID-19 and finally eliminate it from Nigeria.
Testing positive to the virus is not a death sentence. Go out and be tested, if you are not sure of yourself. The earlier, the better!
No one should be and is stigmatised with the virus! This pandemic will soon pass away premised on our proactive response to it.
Moving forward, may I beseech us to continue to observe all preventive measures listed out by World Health Organisation (WHO), Nigerian government and Akwa Ibom State Government, to stay safe and keep our society safe for all!
~Isong is a public affairs commentator and conscience of the society