How best to end Covid-19 pandemic — Abidoye, Olumekun
By Mary Agidi
To avert looming health and economic disasters in Ondo State, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, a call has gone to the government to assemble its academia, researchers and philanthropists capable of mobilising resources and find a cure for the disease .
The Dean , Faculty of Sciences, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Professor Victor Olumekun and a public analyst, Mr. Jeffrey Olu Abidoye made the call in separate interviews with The Hope while analysing the possible effects of the pandemic on the state and global economies.
Olumekun observed that government directives mandating Nigerians to sit at home as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic should be an inspiration for the country’s egg-heads to research and find a cure for the disease rather than sit at home.
The don said unfortunately, the enabling environment for research work at the nation’s universities is not there and cited the absence of regular power supply, inadequate funding among other impediments as factors hindering research.
He observed that in America presently, their think-tanks are working round the clock, searching for vaccine that can cure the COVID-19 virus, expressing the optimism they could eventually have a breakthrough.
He noted that despite the huge resources and manpower at the disposal of American government, they have become helpless and being ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, which should be an advantage for us to put on our thinking cap and help them.
His words, “It is like we are fighting a war, who could believe America could resort to importation of medicals and manpower, even as they desperately search for cure.
“Not that Nigeria does not have the manpower like America who could find a cure to the present challenges, but our university environment is the problem.
“Most of the time, we do crash programmes, the facilities for research are not there. Science is universal, we need to collect the sample of the virus, conduct tests and come up with a solution. These steps require regular power supply,” he noted.
He therefore urged the Federal Government to provide an enabling environment for Nigerian Universities to enable them embark on research and come up with vaccine which could cure coronavirus and other health and economic challenges facing the country and the world economies.
“Look at our hospitals, how many of them have regular power supply? Look at the three key sectors of the nation’s economy, education, agric, health, what is the level of their funding and development rate.”
Olumekun, said in a situation of national emergency like this, the government need to think deeply about food security by developing her storage facilities and making the silos functional.
He expressed displeasure that Nigeria seems not to be ready to do the needful in terms of making adequate preparation to frontally confront the challenges.
He therefore called on the Federal government to look inward by empowering and listening to the academic to come up with solutions to the various economic, industrial and health challenges ravaging the country.
Mr. Jeffrey Olu Abidoye in his own comment noted that the lockdown directive without comprehensive database of the citizenry through which the government could easily reach out to the people like other countries, would resort to hunger and crime since most Nigerians depend on daily businesses to provide food for their families’.
Describing the lockdown as a good intention and perfect measure to contain the pandemic, Abidoye, however, lamented that Nigerian government cannot provide all its citizens with necessary and needed services like China and America.
He foresees a situation where the security agents would lose control of the people to effect the sit-at-home order, if resources weren’t gathered to relieve the economic pressure on the masses, as the situation would become unbearable for those who live on daily sales.
The leadership Consultant, who expressed dissatisfaction with the non-inclusion of high-calibre indigenes of Ondo State, the likes of Chief Michael Ade-Ojo in the palliatives and the Fund Mobilising committees set up by the governor, emphasised the need for politicians who have their bank accounts and houses stockpiled with millions of naira to come to the aid of the vulnerable ones, saying COVID-19 has disgraced money globally.
He lamented the lack of social security fund for Nigerians, noting that political leaders in the country were good at policies formulation without implementation.
He also called on the faith-based organisations to also bring their resources to the table to cushion the effect of the pandemic on their followers.
Abidoye advised that provision of relief items should not be politicised at this difficult period, while calling on the Federal Government to prioritize the cities that were majorly affected by COVID-19.