By Idowu Abdullahi,
With fear of impending lock-down over spread of coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to put up palliative measures that will aid smooth compliance of Nigerians to likely restriction on movement due to the global pandemic.
He explained that the call had become necessary with accompanied hardship that may arise from such sudden life changes occasioned by incidence of the pestilence in the country, adding that the need for relief provision for Nigerians whose daily livelihood may be affected cannot be overemphasized.
The Senate President noted that there must be adequate provision for the poor and downtrodden in the country, whom the lock-down might posed great challenges to in terms of feeding and well-being, noting that such action without proper consideration for the less privileges may likely lead to more problems for the government, which may frustrate its plan of curtailing the pestilence.
Lawan, through a statement by his media aide, Ezrel Tabiowo, on Thursday, said the apex government must ensure release of funds for the purpose of purchasing food and pharmaceutical supplies for ordinary Nigerians, adding that an indigenous method must be devised as a way to help mitigate the spread of the virus without unleashing hardship on the citizens.
“If we have to eventually shut down our country, then as a government we must be prepared to have some relief for the most ordinary people. I’m not seeing anything at the moment targeted at providing some relief. If we lock up Nigeria today, then we will wake-up trouble, because majority of our citizens go to market everyday before they can get something to eat.
“So, you lock them up in their houses with a threat of disease and without food. We need to have something, a plan of some sorts, in addition to making sure we don’t lock up the farmers market for example, where people can easily go and buy something, and of course pharmacies. We need to have some kind of supplies to people, I don’t know how we can achieve this, but we have to be ingenious,” the statement said.