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By: Oluwatosin Adesola
The major opposition party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ondo state chapter has criticized some of the steps taken by the state government over the deadly coronavirus pandemic in the state.
In a Statement signed by the party’s spokesman, Zadok Akintoye, Ondo PDP described the dusk to dawn curfew declared yesterday by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as in appropriate.
Below is the full text of the press statement;
THE ODSG’S TRIVIALIZATION OF THE COVID19 PANDEMIC: A CASE OF GROSS ADMINISTRATIVE INCOMPETENCE
By all indications, the capacity of the Akeredolu-led Ondo State Government to effectively manage the dangerous and virulent disease that has ravaged nations and caused many deaths, is very suspect. We have observed and waited patiently in hope that this government would manage the advantages that our state has in its low exposure to the COVID19 virus with proactive and very precise decisions and have seen that this government lacks the human and material resources needed to protect our people.
Our concern now, stems from the observed indecisive responses of this government to a matter that threatens the existence of our people and state. We have seen a government that needs immediate assistance in handling this disease outbreak but has largely kept mute and rather resolved to playing politics with issues that affect the lives of our people.
Since the first index case was cited in our dear state, the response of the APC-led government has largely been reactionary and often indicates a government that does not truly believe the magnitude of threat posed by this virus to our people.
How does one explain the ill advised decision of government to allow the congregation of Christian faithfuls in commemoration of Easter against all international protocols in place for stemming the spread of this disease?
One imagines what would have been our reality if the third identified infected person had joined other citizens in Church on Sunday to celebrate the Easter. Obviously, many other citizens might have been infected including women and children.
But for the outcry of well meaning citizens including our party and others, the governor would have gone ahead to put our lives at risk without recourse to the many lives that would be negatively impacted by his actions.
It is obvious to all discerning minds that the two cases we have had so far are from infected individuals from other states who moved into the state during the period when the government failed to fully secure our state borders. The third (and most recent identified infected person) is a secondary infection from the primary cases which came in while government failed to shutdown our borders
The ODSG has not shown itself capable of attracting the goodwill and support necessary to alleviate the suffering of our people at this time because of its flipflop approach and wishy washy directives which are always reactionary as it seeks to copy what others have done without thinking through what is needed for our people.
No thanks to obvious show of nepotism and arrogant exclusion of very qualified and capable citizens from government announced committee to raise funds and provide relief materials and support in the fight against this pandemic. Who in his right senses would be willing to fund a committee where the governors’ son and family members/ friends are key administrators of that committee?
The recently announced curfew which prohibits movement of citizens from 07.00pm to 07.00am, here again shows a government that is totally ignorant of the culture of its people.
To declare a total prohibition of movement only during the night, shows that Mr. Akeredolu is disconnected from the people and totally unaware of the nature of Ondo state. Is Akeredolu suggesting that the virus is inactive in the day time? Our people rarely gather in clusters at night and the larger percentage of citizens in Ondo state rarely stay outside their homes at this time.
To restrict movements to night time, is at best playing to the gallery and a cheap shot at seeking political benefit from a people whose very lives are threatened by the governors inefficiency. What the governor should do to safeguard the lives of our people is to totally shutdown movement across the state without delay. The lives of our citizens are far more valuable that any selfish political benefit.
Government must wake up to it’s responsibility of providing clearly defined palliatives and incentives at this time, which must include tax incentives and cuts to persons and businesses affected by this pandemic, provision of free access to adequate healthcare for women and children and must ensure that it provides subsidized food items for the most vulnerable citizens within the state during this period.
It is time for the ODSG to sit up and stop playing to the gallery as our lives are threatened by this invisible virus.
Director of Media and Publicity, PDP