Federal and state governments need to be more serious in enforcing the regulations aimed at chaining COVID-19. It is a matter of life and death. No nation can joke with that. The co-ordination between the federal and state authorities appears ragged at the moment. I thought the primary responsibility of the presidential task force was to act as the national co-ordinating agency in ensuring that states observe whatever regulations are issued by the federal authorities based on the informed advice of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC. This does not appear to be happening. It is the wrong road to victory over the virus.
I had warned in this column before that allowing the states to act independently in the way they are doing now would be chaotic and defeat whatever regulations are put in place to save us as a people. I am afraid, this is exactly what is happening now. Each state governor appears protective of his powers to decide what happens in his state. This is a federal system after all; it guarantees each governor a measure of autonomy and independent action within his state. There is an urgent need to pause and see if 37 centres of power, each asserting its right to do as it wishes, in tackling COVID-19 represents a logical, co-ordinated and determined national battle against the killer virus. The time is now.
The news continues to get worse on the pandemic front. More and more people are being infected by the virus. On May 21, the NCDC reported new cases had brought the total number of those infected to 6,677 with 200 deaths. This virus does not intend to show mercy or become history soon nationally or globally. In the face of this escalation, Bauchi, Cross River and Bayelsa have lifted the ban on places of worship. Is this defiance or foolishness?