As the world battles COVID- 19 pandemic, some Nigerians are not happy with the federal and state government’s approach to the reality of the virus.
In a chat with our correspondent, the Parish Priest of Annunciation Catholic Church, Imo Housing Estate, Owerri, Rev. Father Chinenye Opara said: ” I look at it as a copy and paste solution. This is because the approach is not in tandem with Nigeria’s socio-economic realities. For example, the lockdown and palliatives approaches.”
He recalled that as at the time the government declared lockdown, there were a few cases and when more cases were recorded, lockdown was eased because the European nations and America did so.
“Again, the family setting of America and Europe is different from ours. Isolating at home is difficult for us. In Europe and America, you talk of a man, wife and two children. But in our own case, you have a family of 13 in three rooms. It will be difficult to isolate. Look at the N20,000 given to those who don’t need it, while the poor are left uncared for, when it is the tax payers’ money. Markets and schools are closed down while children play in the fields and children are highly asymptomatic carriers.”
He faulted the non-hygienic hand- washing system which allows everybody to touch the tap, with the waste water not properly disposed of. There is also the non-adherence to social distancing, especially in buses.
On what the government should do to be successful, Father Opara said the government should work positively with the church, adding that if the government had done that, the message would have gone down to the grassroots. Instead of that, the government relies on the elitist messages of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) on the phone when there is no light, especially in the villages.
While condemning the alleged sharp practices, dishonesty and economic benefits recorded by both government and individuals, he reminded Nigerians of God’s statement in the Holy Bible, “Freedom of man may land him in trouble.”