CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC: THE NEED FOR PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI TO AS A MATTER OF NATIONAL URGENCY ADDRESS THE NATION NOW
1. The Young Progressives Party would like to first commend the Federal Government of Nigeria for the steps thus far taken in the prevention and containment of the dreaded Coronavirus, which is currently ravaging many countries in the world. More worthy of commendation is the restriction on travelers from the 13 worst affected countries, suspension of the visa on arrival policy, regular sensitization and update by the Hon. Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and the recent reduction of the pump price of fuel from N145 to N125.
2. However, we are of the firm opinion that the Federal Government can do more in terms of further reduction in the pump price of fuel as the current reduction is not commensurate with the global drop in the price of crude oil, which has constantly declined by more than half in the last two months to less than $27. A reduction below or equal to the pre-APC government of N87 mark will suffice.
3. While we agree that it is better late than never, it has become expedient for President Muhammadu Buhari led APC government to be more proactive in the future management of crises rather than the reactionary disposition that has characterized the actions of same in virtually all spheres of governance since 2015. If necessary actions as listed above had been taken after the first index case was reported, it would have helped in no small measure to prevent the latter cases with 12 people already confirmed positive and about 1,300 people in the process of being traced who may have been affected having had contact with the victims.
4. We hereby call on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of national urgency address Nigerians on the Coronavirus pandemic, which is clearly responsible for the near shutdown of socio-economic activities in the nation. The debate of whether the President should address the nation or not has now become irrelevant as it is now a matter of necessity. Any further delay or complete failure to do the needful would only confirm the general perception of insensitivity.
5. This is a national emergency that requires the President to show leadership through constant engagements with citizens and become a point of reference on practical actions that should be taken by citizens to prevent this virus. Presidential counsel cum examples of temporary avoidance of handshakes, hugs and public gatherings this period may be the needed impetus to galvanize all Nigerians to win this war against one of the worst diseases to have ravaged mankind in recent history.
6. Conclusively, we appeal to all Nigerians to continue to adhere strictly to all instructions emanating from the Federal Ministry of Health on steps to take in order to avoid contracting this virus with the maintenance of personal hygiene the topmost of these instructions.
Comr. Egbeola Wale Martins
National Publicity Secretary
Young Progressives Party