Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, President, Centre for Change, has advised the Federal Government to step up the daily test of people for COVID-19 pandemic.
Okei-Odumakin, in a statement on Friday in Lagos, said that government needs to act fast in order to curb the spread of Coronavirus disease.
The rights activist said it was embarrassing that smaller African countries with a fraction of the population of the self-advertised “giant of Africa’’ were doing more tests than Nigeria.
“We cannot continue to crawl in this very important respect, while the rate of infection travels at a faster speed.
“This necessitates the call, once again, for the authorities to put their acts together and increase the number of tests per day,’’ she said.
Okei-Odumakin, however, lauded those on the frontline of the war against COVID-19 for a job well done.
She said the increasing figures of those treated and discharged gave the assurances that the fight was winnable.
Okei-Odumakin said: “A big thank you to all those on the frontline of the war against COVID-19.
“The health workers, security operatives and even, journalists that are hardly mentioned as very indispensable, if the fight against the virus must be won.’’
She noted that the national figures just crossed the 5,000 landmark.
According to her, it has become routine for the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to announce hundreds of new Coronavirus infections everyday and a spike in the national figures of infected Nigerians.
She said, “Unfortunately, there was no respite in sight, and from projections, the figures would continue to spike, while testing struggles at snail’s speed, unable to catch up.”
Okei-Odumakin, therefore, urged government to look for a cure to the disease and desist from all manners of importation.
“Our penchant to depend on importation of all manner of craps while producing nothing must now stop.
“From hand sanitisers to other Personal Protection Equipment and the search for cure, we must now take the lead and look after ourselves.
“Whether locally or on the international scene, everyone is scampering to provide home-grown solutions. We must not be left out of this.
“It is sad and embarrassing that it is Lilliputian Madagascar that is taking the lead in this respect for giant Nigeria to shamelessly follow.
“Yet, it is not as if we could not have done better than Madagascar.
“We are not short of talents but, unfortunately, short in the leadership qualities needed to harness the bountiful potential always available in this country.
“The human, natural and capital resources have always been there. Effectively managing them for progress has been our bane,’’ she said.
According to Okei-Odumakin, this has been one important reason why many Nigerians find it difficult to put their trust in the government to obey directives meant for the good of all.
She advised that the vicious circle must be broken for Nigerians to get out of this bind and make meaningful progress.
Okei-Odumakin appealed to Nigerians to adhere to all precautionary measures put in place by the government in order to check the spread of the pandemic in the country.
She said it was important that Nigerians should obey all the protocols, such as physical distancing and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“The lockdown, which is in operation in various ways and forms all over the country, must be obeyed.
“It is in this respect that we frown at its breaches, which is aiding the community transmission of the virus at an alarming rate. This is not in the interest of anyone.
“We call on the security operatives to be alive to their duties.
“Let everyone be patriotic, sensitive, and sensible enough to understand and appreciate that the COVID-19 protocols are for the protection and wellbeing of all,’’ she said.
Edited By: Abdullahi Mohammed/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)