By Izuchukwu Nwokoma
There is no gainsaying the fact that the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic first detected in the city of Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and spread to the most powerful countries in the world has destabilized the world and it’s economy, shattered continents, thrown nations into disarray, taken away the thinking caps of some administrations and above all forced citizens of countries to sit at home gnashing their teeth, at the same time, guess where help would come from.
The novel Coronavirus, which knows no bounds nor discriminates between the rich and poor, has indeed shown that the affluent who can boast of everything that can make life comfortable and meaningful, could be made to seek cover where hitherto he could not have imagined if ordinarily the Virus did not surface.
As the pandemic which has persistently given the world and scientists sleepless nights in search of a cure, continues, the entire world, organisations like the United Nations, its specialised agencies like the World Health Organisation (WHO) among others, Countries, administrations, individuals, corporate bodies have equally shown commitment in offering assistance to those groups, people, described as vulnerable that cannot provide for themselves amid the lockdown, what an outpour of love by humanity!
In Abia State for example, no one had imagined that the state under the administration of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu (Ph.D) branded the most insulted governor in Southeast geoplitical zone, considering the high level of criticisms received from individuals, opposition parties in the State could have shown high level of commitment in cushioning the effects of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic on Abians, This is totally engrossing!
Today, he is ranked among the best governors in the country in terms of the level of commitment so far exhibited through his timely and co- ordinated palliative measure intended to assist in cushioning the effects of the lockdown order on Abians, Indeed, this is in contrast to stories emanating from other states where it has been alleged repeatedly, that the palliatives reeled out are specifically for indigenes of the State or certain individuals hoard the palliatives meant to get to the vulnerable. What a way to punish people!
While I keep the story of other states in the fight aside, I am engrossed, that Governor Ikpeazu, could exhibit this high level of commitment, doggedness, sagacity, compassion among other virtues, this period that other state governors like Kano are grappling with the challenges of coping with the risk factor associated with the entire fight against the spread of the Virus. One astonishing angle is the way Ikpeazu’s administration has turned a blind eye to the activities of defaulters, who flout the sit-at-home order and go about their businesses.
He has carried out the distribution of palliatives to vulnerable groups through Churches, Local Government Area Councils among others which is still continuous. The importance of this palliatives done in phases cannot be over-emphasized. In addition, he has ordered that salaries of workers be paid, while pensioners in the state are also expectant. He has no doubt shown that he is a beacon and embodiment of hope this COVID-19 era.
Furthermore, to say that the government of Abia State is ignorant of the activities of some traders and other classes of people who leave their houses early to carry out businesses or transactions could be derogatory. The government understands that a total or complete lockdown, could lead to a breakdown of law and other and further mar the fight against the spread of the dreaded Virus.
Despite the non- availability of a testing centre in the State, worthy of commendation is the way the Okezie Ikpeazu led administration has spent huge resources synergizing with media houses in the state to come up with appropriate messages and jingles aimed at creating awareness and informing the public on how dreadful the Coronavirus is.
While Governor Ikpeazu deserves commendation for quick response to COVID-19 menace in the State, I will not also fail to appreciate the ingenuity and magnanimity exhibited by state and federal lawmakers in the state both past and present including: former Governor of the State Senator Theodore Orji, Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Eng. Chinedum Orji, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, Hon. Uko Nkole, Hon. Chukwu Chijioke, Hon. Ginger Onwusibe Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha among others who have continually shown love to Abians this trial period while imploring those yet to reach out to their constituents to key in this trial period.
It will not be wise if I fail to appreciate the enormous and onerous task played by individuals, health workers in Abia and indeed the entire nation, as well as the sacrificial roles played by the press in keeping the public abreast of developments.
As the search for the cure rages, Abia cannot afford to lose the gains so far recorded in preventing the spread of the Virus to the hinterlands, let us continue to observe the precautionary measures stipulated by the government, the World Health Organisation (WHO), sustain the brotherly love shown since the pandemic ensued and together we shall surmount the scourge and recount our experiences thereafter.
God help us as we battle to #StaySafe.
Written by Izuchukwu Nwokoma from Umuahia