Conference of Civil Society of Nigeria/Civil Society Centre for Leadership and Followership/ iMPART AFRICA has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to replicate the Nigerian approach by setting up an ECOWAS Taskforce on COVID- 19 that will develop and implement a comprehensive regional response plan.
Buhari was appointed recently by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government as its COVID-19 response coordinator.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the group urged President Buhari to use his position to persuade his colleague to begin to implement their commitment of allocating 15% of their annual budgets to strengthen their health care systems.
Comrade Adams Otakwu, Coordinator of Civil Society Situation Room on COVID-19 and Chairperson of Conference of Civil Society of Nigeria/Civil Society Centre for Leadership and Followership, further urged the President to develop a Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery and Growth Plan for the ECOWAS Sub-region.
He stated “step up responses in the areas of: Testing Training of Health Workers, Investment in the development of Vaccines and Therapeutics and development of Molecular Testing Capacity for future infectious diseases.
He continued “Embark on economic diversification and rural industrialization that will add value to local raw materials.”
“We appeal to citizens returning to the sub-region to cooperate with authorities, and apply themselves to relevant guidelines.
“We call for International support and goodwill for the response to the pandemic in the ECOWAS sub-region.
“We call for maximum cooperation of citizens in the sub-region to cooperate with governments and authorities in order to collectively overcome this pandemic.
“We appreciate the pains of all citizens, we commend health workers and essential service providers on the front line. We condole with families who have lost loved ones. We must continue to look up to God in our prayers, cooperate with government and show responsibility by adhering to guidelines.
“Together with the Grace of the Almighty God we shall defeat this pandemic, the same way we defeated the Great Plague of Marseilles (1720), the cholera outbreak (1820) and the Spanish flu (1920)”.