OrderPaperToday– Some members of the House of Representatives, Mr Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) and Mr. Ben Nzondo (PDP, Benue) have commended the federal government for its decision to stop interstate movement.
In a telephone chat with OrderPaperNG, they said though it may be tough on Nigerians, the measure and other being taken by various governments will ensure lives are protected.
According to Mr. Nzondo, “I do not disagree with any of the measures listed in that press release by the federal government, what is most important now is to save lives. It is worth it.”
While adding that it is only persons who are alive that can discuss or bother about economy, he added, “I know that this will not last forever hopefully. In the next two weeks government would meet again to review some of these measures. Where it is right now, government needs a complete lockdown. As for the information dissemination, government has done well in that regard though measures on closure of international airports should been done earlier than now but it is never too late.”
In his part, Mr. Ossai collaborated the position of his colleague but cautioned that “whatever measures government is taking must have a human face though, I do not think that stopping interstate or inter-town travel is a better measure because airports, rail and other forms of transportation have been stopped but whatever needs to be done to stop the virus has to be done.
“Also, whatever it takes for us to be free from this virus, let them do it. Since yesterday, I have been indoors and I cannot even go to my constituency.”
Ossai, however, stressed the need for government to make adequate provision for Nigerians to have access to food during the lockdown.
“We need to survive from this pandemic, government must make available vehicles that can be used to go into villages to purchase these food items and supply at certain designated places where people can go to purchase the food. The government should work with the Central Bank of Nigeria in this regard so as to cushion the effects. There should be a supply chain and furthermore, the aged should be considered. There should be a stipulated time for persons from age 50 to 70 to come and buy food because they are the vulnerable in these circumstances.”
Rating the federal government on measures taken so far, Ossai said “it is sad that we did not close our borders and airports on time but probably that might be because of the relationship Nigeria has with China.
“At this point, we call on China to come to our aid because we never abandoned them when they were battling with theirs. We must give it to the federal government they have done their best nobody or country can get it 100% so they are doing well, I must commend them.”
As at 27 March, 2020, Nigeria had 51 recorded cases of Covid-19 in eight (8) States of the federation with Lagos State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with thirty five (35) and ten (10) cases respectively.
In a press conference that held on Thursday, the minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr. Lai Mohammed, announced that the federal government was considering stopping inter-state/inter-town travels, except for essential services to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to him, “I want to say straight away that our strategy at containing this pandemic is working, but we still have a long way to go. We know our priorities and we know our challenges. We have taken very bold measures in stopping international flights into the country, and we hail the state governments that have take equally bold measures in their states, which include the closure of markets and the prohibition of large congregations.
“However, we are determined to be more aggressive in enforcing the measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus.
“Stopping inter-state/inter-town travels, except for essential services. Closing all motor parks and inter-state rail stations. Already, all train movements nationwide have been stopped.”