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Opinion

COVID-19: The Many Illogicalities of a Privileged Nation by Favour Olabanji

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool” - Williams Shakespeare

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When Illogicalities or illogical acts is the norm in any setup or establishment whatsoever, it is rather obvious that there is either a dead end or calamity looms in the corridor of such establishments and that’s the current state of our dear Nation.

This is not to celebrate our present unfortunate condition but to establish the privilege we have experienced as a nation compared to other developed climes. The initially praised and exalted governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde returned from a Nigerian-American Business Forum, which was held in Tampa, Florida, the United States in early March. Despite being warned against it, the governor held a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) rally in his State capital (Ibadan) and even joked about COVID-19 in mid-march.

“They said we should not do this rally because of coronavirus. It was their leader that said coronavirus is in their party, yes or no? Have you used your hand sanitiser? There is no coronavirus in our own party”, he was quoted. This drew public criticism. Weeks after, the same Makinde was confirmed positive for coronavirus.

Either his statement at the rally was misconstrued or the place where he contracted the disease was unknown, it is clear that he was warned against the rally, he joked about the virus in the rally and he eventually tested positive for Coronavirus disease. Apparently, the Law enforcement agencies were quiet about this anomaly perhaps due to the caliber of personality involved.

Truly some animals are more important than others and this was evident in Funke Akindele’s case after she was arrested and prosecuted alongside her husband for “violating the Stay-at-Home directive and organised a social event with a large gathering of people which could lead to the spread of Covid-19.”

The count charge against her read as follows: “That you, (1) Funke Akindele and (2) Abdul Rasheed Bello, on April 4, 2020, on Gbadamosi Close, Amen Estate, Ibeju-Lekki in the Lagos Magisterial District, gathered at the aforementioned with over 20 persons, contrary to the social distancing directive of Mr Governor of Lagos State, made pursuant to Regulation 8(1)(a) and (b) and 17(1) (i) of the Lagos State Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulation, 2020, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 58, Public Health Law, Cap P16 Vol. 9, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.”

Alas! It was a bombshell, when the chief of staff to the Presidency was announced dead. It was discovered that he was treated in a private facility despite the unapproved treatment of the virus in private Facilities, When contacted by SaharaReporters to know if they had the capacity to treat Coronavirus cases in the country, an employee of the hospital, who answered the call denied that Kyari died at their facility. She said, “He didn’t die here, don’t believe what bloggers are saying”

Despite the fact that families of the dead coronavirus victims were not allowed to claim their remains for burial according to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that wasn’t the case for the almighty chief of staff. At his burial, the social distancing rule was ultimately flouted by those in the presidency and several attendees. No arrest nor prosecution was made thereafter.

Some days ago, the same happened at the burial of the father of former governor of Borno State, Ali Sheriff, Galadima Modu Sheriff who died in a fire incident It’s quite disturbing to note that the government is not being sincere in it handling of this pandemic and it can be seen in how Lagos government contradicts itself on private treatment of Coronavirus.

The health minister, Osagie Ehanire had on Friday, 17 April, disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Health has not accredited any private hospital to treat COVID-19 patients. The Minister noted that although some private hospitals have shown interest to treat the virus, none have met the criteria to receive approval yet. Earlier, the Lagos state commissioner of Health Prof. Akin Abayomi had warned that private hospitals across the state are not yet allowed to treat COVID-19 patients.

However, weeks after the Lagos State government warned private hospitals not to treat Coronavirus patients, it has declared that it accredited First Cardiology Consultants, Lagos, where Mallam Abba Kyari died. Is isn’t contradictory, misleading and illogical on the part of the government?

In clear terms, the above instances have revealed how illogical our leaders can be amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Seyi Makinde flouted the social distancing rule and got away with it via an apology. Funke Akindele flouted the same rule and was prosecuted with immediate effect alongside her husband and other attendees of her house party.

Funny enough, the social distancing principle was disregarded at the same court where she was being prosecuted. Who is then deceiving who? If the social distancing rule was flouted in other nations of the world in this manner, they would perhaps have been wiped out of existence by the virus. Hence, emphasizing how lucky we’re as a Nation in the midst of our illogical acts and hypocrisy. The political space has become a game of chess played by certain individuals who can bend the rules and get away with it. In the case of covid-19, bending rules will only be a case of the viral song “Egungun be careful, na express you dey go, motor go jam you” Masquerade beware! For you approach the highway, you’ll be hit by a vehicle.

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