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With zero case in Rivers, Ogoni youths want Wike to relax lockdown

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COVID-19 exposes deficiencies in Nigeria’s dev models, says HOMEF
With the successful treatment and discharge of two coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Rivers State, the National Youth Council of Ogoni People (NYCOP) has appealed to Governor Nyesom Wike to relax the restriction on movement.

The youth wing of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) said the cheering news of a Rivers free of COVID-19 should spur Wike to relax the lockdown, which was raising the threat of starvation.

President of NYCOP, Theophilus Mbagha, stated this while briefing the factional president of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, on efforts made by the youths to sensitise Ogoni communities on COVID-19.

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Mbagha said following the governor’s broadcast last week confirming zero case of COVID-19 in Rivers, it was important for youths to be very vigilant and cooperative in protecting their communities by identifying cases where symptoms of COVID-19 were manifesting or suspected and report such to appropriate authorities for proper attention.

He expressed hope that with the cheering news, the governor would consider relaxing the lockdown due to concerns that many might die of hunger, if the lockdown continued.

According to him, it will be fruitless to protect the people, particularly the aged who appear to be most vulnerable, from dying of COVID-19 while exposing the younger population to starvation.

Meanwhile, a combined team of soldiers, police and civil defence corps has continued to ensure the indefinite lockdown imposed on parts of Port Harcourt by Wike.

In another vein, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has said that COVID-19 exposed the deficiencies in Nigeria’s development models.

Director of HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey, said with over two million cases and over 100,000 deaths globally, as well as hundreds of confirmed cases in Nigeria, the country must see the pandemic as an eye-opener and implement suitable response measures.

Bassey stated this in HOMEF’s new publication on COVID-19 and Africa entitled ‘Who Benefits from Corona? A breakfast with Mr. Gates’.

He noted that COVID-19 had gripped the world and its people in a crisis that had no precedent in the century.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak a pandemic after it had reached 114 countries, with more than 118,000 cases and 4,291 deaths.

The HOMEF boss explained that the crisis highlighted the needs of Nigeria and Africa, especially the deficiencies in their socio-economic and development models.

He, therefore, called urgent review of the models, and shift to a continent that refuses to be used for risky experiments whether for financial speculation or for purposes of depopulation.

Biosafety Officer of HOMEF, Joyce Ebebeinwe, stressed that the health systems in Nigeria were not equipped to respond to the needs of the people most in need in the country and in many other parts of the world.

“Marking this year’s Earth Day in a pandemic should help us reflect that humans must learn to live in harmony with nature and desist from manipulations of viruses and other living organisms,” she said.

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