The chaos from the rush hour shopping due to announced lockdown in several states was like a war situation. People scampered to buy what they could eat as states and federal government announced the closure of markets and other public places before the going into full lock down.

 

Many states took this approach to limit the spread of the virus but they were usually without concrete plans to alleviate the suffering of the people. Prices of goods went up by more than 70 per cent. Community markets and supermarkets were packed to the throat – I have not seen anything like except in the movies, more like an apocalypse. As people ran from pillar to post to stock up, I imagined what would happen to the poor who are like 90 per cent of the entire country, those who feed from hand to mouth from the sweat of their daily hustle. How would they survive the 14 days lock down?

 

Forget it! Hunger will kill more people this period that the coronavirus itself and the lock down will not last as people will soon troop to the streets to look for what they would eat. I mean, the leadership of Nigeria has over the years been peopled by half-intelligent folks who jump and take decisions without a plan, without thinking them out through. How would the shut in be sustained in the present reality?

 

The ugly truth is that the coronavirus is everywhere and it did not take the government unawares. While both tiers of government continue to run from pillar to post, the failed to use their free window to actually develop a plan that would have benefitted all. The Nigerian Centre for Disease and Control is dishing out figures based on those it has so far tested and they are not up to 500. The government has been lagging behind as it is wont to do and has not scaled up testing. The over 4000 people who came into the country within that period without been screened or quarantined have mixed up within their communities, gone to the markets and in the next three weeks, we might be getting the real figures. Yet, now that we are here, what do we do?

 

The worst part is the porous nature of coordination from the centre. There is a vacuum that needs to be filled in Abuja to turn around the ship of governance which has totally collapsed and set it to sail. Nigerians now hear from their president through the propaganda machinery of Aso Rock. No other country going through this crisis has begged for their president to address them and assuage public fear. Nigerians wanted to know that someone was working assiduously hard to ensure their safety. That has not been the case. When the president spoke, his speech became more frightening than the virus itself as it lacked the ingredients of assurance. Top of it was the plan to gift 200 million people 15 billion in a country where the budget of the national assembly who are less than 500 is 120 billion.

 

One of Nigeria’s biggest problems is elite rascality. It was reported in the news that big men who came into the country in the middle of the outbreak, especially national assembly members refused to be screened at the airport but do you blame them? The ministry of health which went on propaganda instead of setting up structures told the country that it was prepared to tackle the outbreak. It, however, failed to obtain an order or ask the national assembly to enact one which would force all returnees to be quarantined for at least 14 days. The executive also refused to shut the airspace because some of their friends and their children would be trapped outside.

 

Yes, in Corona’s verdict, the elites are no longer travelling abroad to get top notch treatment but running back home where they feel a thingy of safety. Those hotels and purchased apartments in New York, London, Paris, Venice and Berlin are no longer needed. They now have more faith in the hospitals they refused to build or equip or doctors they refused to pay. In essence, Nigeria is suffering from what it failed to do than what it presently doing. Worst still, we do not have a president. If there is one, he has is incapacitated and only communicates through pictures or when he is forced to speak, does so in an uninspiring manner devoid of hope. Buhari is the only person whose only requirement to keep his job is to show that he is still alive.
The coronavirus is a leveller.

 

Many  Nigerianshave expressed hope that it will teach our pilfering leaders a lesson and force them to invest heavily in health, education and create an enabling environment for the country to thrive economically. But here is heresy, unless a high percentage of our leaders do not survive this outbreak, they will loot more funds to celebrate their survival in best hotels in Europe, America or Dubai. We are that wicked to ourselves and will never sense.

 

On the other hand, the ordinary Nigerians who hope the virus wipes out the elites continue to rush to churches and mosques despite the fact that physical contact is the surest way to contract the virus.

 

The verdict? You are on your own