Coronavirus – just go away. I have confidence that biological fatalities from the virus would be minimal. Initially, I was scared but right now, our healthcare professionals are doing medical miracles as positive indices are turning negative. My concern now is that this virus is breeding something else. Yes, partisan and economic fatalities may be huge. The speech given by Governor Wike of Rivers State asking why Lagos got N10 billion when his state, and other states, got zero, is a concern: Lagos is Nigeria’s commercial hub but Rivers as oil hub “produces a greater percentage of the nation’s wealth” and should be supported, he reasoned.
I do think there are blames everywhere: the federal government needs to support Lagos but must also provide support to other states to build up defenses. If that is not happening, it has to be upgraded. For Governor Wike, going on a statewide broadcast with this logic is simply breaking the nation. I do not think it is necessary; he could have made this case through the channels.
Nigeria needs a solid comprehensive plan that will ensure we do not put 100% of resources in Lagos while leaving Kaduna, Osun, Rivers, Abia and others vulnerable. Imagine if the federal government had sent each state N1 billion to build defences at the point of wiring N10 billion to Lagos. No one will want our governors to activate coronavirus in order to get its own N10 billion! You get the idea? So, you need to plan ahead.
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has criticised the federal government for giving a N10 billion grant to Lagos State to fight the novel coronavirus while “abandoning” other states of the federation.
The confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in Nigeria stood at 232 as of Sunday evening. Lagos has 120, which is the highest in the country, while Rivers state has one confirmed case.
Mr Wike, in a statewide broadcast on Sunday, accused President Buhari’s administration of “politicising” the nation’s effort to halt the spread of the virus.
Mr Wike said Lagos is Nigeria’s commercial hub, but that Rivers, as the nation’s oil and gas hub, “produces a greater percentage of the nation’s wealth” and therefore deserves federal support.
“One wonders why Federal Government should single out a state out of 36 States to give support. Does it mean that support will come when a State has a record of over 50 infected persons?