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The Conference of Harmonised Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria has accused the Nigeria Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) of creating panic amongst citizens by misinforming the government and citizenry in its effort to manage the dreaded COVID-19.
The CSOs at a press conference held in Makurdi and addressed by the convener, Save Nigeria Movement, Semaka SS while stating its position alleged that the continued lockdown of the country with its attendant negative implications on the economy and life of the citizenry was as result of misinformation from the NCDC which it argued had created panic more than help in curbing the spread of the virus.
“The agency has demonstrated clearly that it’s capacity for handling this and many other emergencies is overrated and over stretched. But the NCDC is committed to sustaining negative panic in order to match with the fund at its disposal at the moment. This strategy is not only unpatriotic but fundamentally harmful to the collective survival of the country.
“By last night when the NCDC released her daily update of Covid-19 statistics, Nigeria has recorded 9855 cases of CoviD-19 infections overall, with 2856 recovered and discharged and 273 dead. Every state of the federation has had cases except Cross River State. Kogi State disputes the 2 cases she currently has, Zamfara, Bauchi and Edo States have also disputed some of the stats applicable to them. The NCDC has apologised to a couple of states for errors in her updates.
“In managing the Covid-19 pandemic, the NCDC’s modus operandi is basically to release guidelines which state governments follow, and from which they evolve what other protocols and procedures they consider necessary to safeguard their people. Fundamental practices adopted by every state so far include full or partial lockdowns marked by aggressive restrictions on movement and ubiquitous public sanitation.
“Now, Ladies and gentlemen from February 27 to this day, our country has almost gone aground in terms of the economic implications of the lockdown on the entire nation, mainly due to the spate of partial and full lockdowns imposed by the federal and state governments.
“It is clear that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 have been largely responsible for this continued lockdown of the whole nation, as governments have acted on their recommendations”.
The CSOs also urged the Federal Government to allow and support state governments to carry out research and other necessary feasibilities with a view to stemming the Covid-19 pandemic and other future health emergencies.
“The immediate reaction of many Nigerians to the NCDC’s midnight nightmare of increasing cases is that the agency now has a panic button it uses to scare the citizens and governments of Nigeria, and simply for selfish gains. If not, why then is the Covid-19 pandemic and its ancillaries the sole preoccupation of the NCDC and other public health bodies for now? Is it because it is currently the only disease which gives access to nigh unbelievable sums from the public till along with billions from the private sector?”, the group asked.
It further urged the federal government to take the lead in the face of the current global health crisis by championing transparency through NCDC approaches.
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