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  • Writer's pictureProf Rotimi Jaiyesimi

COVID-19 in NIGERIA: This is the time to put politics aside

The number of COVID-19 has risen from one to supported the bid of Muhammadu Buhari’s to become Nigeria’s President in my Facebook posting of 27January 2015 and wished his team well in another posting on 29 May 2015.

The Covid-19 infection has established itself in Nigeria. This is not the time to point fingers but a time to speak truth to power.

I commend the Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire, the Director General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, and the Lagos State Government. There are other Nigerians in the public and private sectors who have stepped out to tackle this pandemic and sincere appreciation to you all.

The Federal Ministry of Health’s procurement division was transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture because of political wrangling. And years on, the health procurement remains in the department of Agriculture! This is absurd and is a recipe for disaster.

Efficient procurement is a critical success factor for an effective seamless supply chain. The Ministry of Agriculture do not have the understanding of healthcare needs and how to prioritise these needs from a list of equipment when supplied by the Ministry of Health. It explains in part, the lack of essential equipment in our hospitals.

The President ran on a joint ticket with his VP during the last two elections. Yes, you have a Presidential Covid Task Force in place but the seemingly lack of visibility of the VP is unnerving. It might be said that he is working from the back room and advising as well. Not at a time such as this. We need visible and effective leadership to reassure Nigerians. All hands must be on deck and out in the trenches to fight this impending scourge. The National Orientation Agency, relevant ministries, the private sector - our artistes should be using their popularly to reach out to the Nigerian populace.

My plea is not to play politics with the health of the nation and the lives of Nigerians

The pictures show the looming doom in Nigeria. The VP must be seen in public to be working alongside the professionals in the fight of this disease.

The procurement department on the Ministry of Health must be returned back to the ministry immediately. This is not the time to play politics.

As individual Nigerians let us hold our leaders to account for their stewardship. While we do this, please stop the spread of COVID-19 by following the recommendations from the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control.

Rotimi Jaiyesimi

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