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Governor Okowa’s COVID-19 testimony

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In the wild nature of human imagination, there are always certain odd questions that boggle the mind when negative things happen to people irrespective of who they are in the society. There is one question which readily comes to mind: Why do bad things happen to good people? Somehow, the question is innocently raised for simple reason of aptness in instructively courting moral indignation from the people. It is tempting at some instance to believe that bad things happen to good people because of their kindness or selflessness in dealing with everybody. But how comforting or how religiously adequate is such a thought? Having said that, it is important to note that, the misfortunes of good people are not only a problem to the people or to their families who suffer. The sufferings are also a problem to everyone whose lives the good people have touched one way or the other. Well, the rate at which bad things happen to good people in the society is not really the concern of this piece. But the focus is on the current coronavirus pandemic that does not discriminate in its ravaging and apparent threat to humanity worldwide.

At first, COVID-19 was not taken seriously in this part of the world and therefore, it was referred to as white people disease. But when it started rearing its ugly face in Africa the narrative changed to big men and women wahala. At some point, it was seen as elderly people headache. But at the moment, everyone (young or old, poor or rich, white or black name it) is behind the face mask trying not to be exposed to COVID-19. However, like Shakespeare wrote in Julius Ceasar that: “When beggars die there are no comet seen, the Heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes…” This of course brings to bear the solemn atmosphere in the entire state when the news about the amiable Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, his wife and daughter’s epic sojourn in isolation centre. And of course, the rejoicing for their triumphant recovery from the dreaded coronavirus scourge. Indeed, Deltans and well meaning Nigerians could not contain their joy as they join the governor and family to crow in showing gratitude to God. In no small measure the governors’ survival and experience once again proved that COVID-19 is real. Therefore, people should not be adamant to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines and say I begi COVID-19 na film trick seeing is believing. In that case, do such people wish to experience the virus by contracting it in order to adhere that COVID-19 is a killer disease? Of course, that is absolute madness and unthinkable for any reasonable person. It is indeed worthy of rejoicing that COVID-19 did not have its way to truncate the good works of Okowa’s administration.

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This is because very few Nigerian political leaders will display Okawa’s courage and patriotism and refuse to betray their state or country for their friends when faced with the choice between the two. Not too long ago the Honourable minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika, inspected facilities at the Asaba International airport and was reported to have said: “Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is always a very serious minded person, very focused, principled and always committed to doing the right thing. I have been informed how he ensured transparency in the concessioning of the Asaba airport. Some of his friends bid for the airport and lost, and in the interest of his people, he did not interfere and did not care whether his friends lost but what he wanted was quality and the right people to run the airport and I think this is what will help our nation”.

It has always been a general platitude, that for any government to be taken seriously it must adopt an aggressive growth strategies. Therefore, without mincing words, the Okowa administration, in no small measure has operated on the modus oprandi of sporadic infrastructural development across the state as well as creating employment opportunities for Deltans. Hence, in matters concerning good governance through development, no matter how remote the areas at which development took place, there seems to be some magical spell as Deltans spread the news about Okowa’s good governance like wild harmattan fire. The stellar performance of the Okowa administration has made Deltans to refer to governor Okowa as ‘The road master’. Of course, there were fears and anxiety across the state when the governor once again displayed his sincerity and made his COVID-19 status and that of his wife and daughter public. This is because of the inconvenient truth about Okowa’s transparency even when he knew that coronavirus does not have a cure.

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Yet, the governor a physician, chose to do the needful by declaring the health status of his family publicly. Those who recover from the virus could only attribute their recovery to different medications and obedience to simple hygiene guidelines of the NCDC at the isolation centre. Nonetheless, the tenacity with which the healthcare community has pursued advances in medicine to manage the disease is commendable. More so, the governor’s COVID-19 experience has brought about the desired societal change of attitude among many Deltans and Nigerians in general. This is because, until now, many people were behaving very irrationally towards adherence to health workers guidelines. But the fascinating thing about His Excellency’s recovery is that members of the public are now self conscious to health workers and NCDC guidelines and are willing to adhere to simple hygiene rudiment. The governor has also added his voice to boost the NCDC campaign when he said: “I appealed to all residents in the state to obey all instructions and regulations targeted at combating and stemming the transmission of COVID-19 in the state”.

Indeed, governor Okowa’s ingenuity is beyond a political party’s manifesto, no matter how well-meaning its worded content. It is indisputable that Okowa belongs essentially to a leadership class of the first generation politicians who did not estrange the people they serve. He belongs, above all, to a leadership that rules by ennobling example and transparency. Okowa’s exemplary leadership has made him the toast of the town and the reason behind the sincere anxiety and fervent prayers of Deltans who interceded when the ill wind blew the news of his contracting the deadly virus. In a way, all that has happened would help to strengthen Okowa’s resolve and help to teach political leaders and people generally a lesson to be the best at all times in whatever they do. In addition, surviving COVID-19 does not give one a license to be carefree thinking he or she is immune from future infection. This is because the virus is like a zombie, and zombies does not necessarily die even after a headshot, the beast may continue to lumber forward in pursuit. In the same vain, coronavirus is still in the air and the watch word for everybody is to be precautious and religiously keeping the simple hygiene guidelines. Again, this writer and millions of Nigerians join Okowa and family to testify as we express our profound gratitude to God for their recovery from COVID-19.

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