By Suleiman Umaru
Nyesom Wike , the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, governor of the oil rich Rivers state who is not happy with President Muhammadu Buhari over the special attention being given to the Lagos state government since the outbread of the Wuhan Town in Hebei Province of the Asian country of China emerged Coronavirus , appears to have opened the flood gate for more donations to come into the state.
His recent emotional outburst which was widely published in national Newspapers and the Social Media, had exposed the state as in need of help to be able to contain the spread of the disease which had spread to 203 countries in the world infecting the low and the mighty. Note that Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of Britain is one of the prominent world leaders that had been infected with the disease.
Of the 254 victims which Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, Nigerian Center for Disease Control, NCDC, had said contacted the disease since the outbreak last February in the country, majority of them were said to have been in Lagos, the nation’s Commercial hub, Isolation Center Unit, ICU, at Yaba, Lagos Mainland, provided by the state government to facilitate the Treatment and quick recovery of the victims.
Aware that the deadly disease which is spreading like wild fire all over the world had infected over 3,000 medical and technical experts resulting in 76,507 deaths , the World Health Organisation, WHO, officials, might have known that at the rate which the disease had spread in Nigeria in the last three months, there might be an explosion in Lagos and the need to take proactive measure to contain it.
Perhaps to prepare the mind of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the state governor in handling the pandemic, the WHO , had donated three Ambulances to the state government. The United Nations, UN, Health agency, officials had said that the gesture was to support the government’s effort in curbing the spread of the deadly disease in the state.
The WHO officials, had said that the three Ambulances t donated to the state would go a long way to boost the fight against the spread of the disease in the state. Braka Fiona, a Medical Doctor, and the agency Immunisation Team leader in Nigeria, who,, presented the three Ambulances to Sanwo-Olu, the state governor on Tuesday, April 6, 2020 was full of praises for the governor for his singular efforts to curb the spread of the disease in the state .
Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID 19, was said to have witnessed the presentation of the vehicles to the Lagos state government.
In a related Development , Bashir Jamoh, the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, also made a number of medical equipment and other items including ventilators. Ambulances, buses and Response vessels to the state government in order to combat the spread of the disease in the state.
Jamoh, the NIMASA, boss while making the presentations to Sanwo-Olu, the state governor, stated that the agency ” felt it necessary to present the donations as the state ” remains the center for the virus in the country”.
Commenting on the vessels donated to the state, he explained that it would support it in responding promptly to accidents in the coastal states for Anchorage evacuation if need be. He disclosed that the “Crew members of the vessels were volunteer Staff of the agency who had been trained on manning the first intervention vessels”.
The NIMASA boss, who could not hide his feelings, Commended the Lagos state governor for being proactive in his response to the pandemic. The agency was said to have also presented a cheque of N20 million to the state government to support the fight against the spread of the virus in the state .An appreciative Sanwo-Olu who was overwhelmed by the NIMASA Director General support was short of words.”I simply say Thank You””, he remarked.
The Maritime Regulatory agency appears to have thrown a challenge to other government agencies and private Organisations to support the state, described as the Center of Excellence, to be able to contain the pandemic.
Recall, that Jamoh, the NIMASA, boss, had expressed appreciation to the Katsina state born Nigerian President’s timely response to the deadly disease, stressing that he has created a major role for the agencies to play in the fight against the spread of the disease in the country.
He was said to have singled out the Ihekweazu, led NCDC, over the agency’s efforts in responding to the evacuation of infected persons to the ICUs, across the country to contain the spread of the disease.
Appealing to Media Practioners to play their role in sensitising the public about the dangers and the need to keep to the WHO, social distance Rules and Regulatios as well as maintain personal hygiene to curb the spread of the virus which had ccrossed International boundaries, he maintains that “everyone has a role to play in the fight against the pandemic””.
Those who think that the Maritime Regulatory agency may not extend the same gesture done to to Lagos state to other states in the country’s six -geo-political regions affected by the pandemic would be disappointed.
Jamoh, the NIMASA Director General has made it clear to all that cares to listen that the donations would not be limited only to Lagos, which is in the south west alone but would be extended to other states in other geo-political regions across the country.
This should gladden the heart of Nyesom Wike, the Rivers state governor, who many expect would have raise alarm because NIMASA , has a functional office In Port Harcourt, the state Capital.
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