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Nigerians have politicised coronavirus

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Sir: Public health experts around the globe are yet to ascertain the cause of the coronavirus pandemic that was discovered in Wuhan, a popular city in China around wee days of the month of December 2019.

In the past two weeks, the cases of the pandemic have increased drastically in 13 folds. World Health Organization (WHO) had, however, called the virus a pandemic because it is currently affecting the whole world.

Director-General of the agency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, calls the outbreak a “very grave threat for the rest of the world” and that the virus is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome. The virus is not stopping because it has exterminated a number of people around the world. It continues killing the world gradually - emerging from China to the United States of America and across all the countries of the world. However, while the countries of the world take this as a challenge within the whole world, Nigerians generally take this as opportunities within themselves. The countries of the world are busy fostering conformity for them to defeat the virus, Nigerian capitalists are so callous that they are busy extorting the people in every aspect of their lives. Government administrators politicised this to gain more wealth. This is evident when the first case of the virus was recorded in Nigeria on the 28th of February, the antagonists of the party in power took this as an avenue to find flaws of the government in power. They blame the government for not protecting the nation enough from the virus forgetting that the virus is a general issue to humanity. Should the government in power fail to conquer the virus, politicians in Nigeria will use this to campaign against them.

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Furthermore, prices of commodity got elevated sporadically like harmattan fire. Face masks are initially sold for only N30 but due to the pandemic, Nigerians elevated the price to over N300 (they are not available in all communities). Transportation fee, food items and others have become gold in Nigeria to the extent that only the ones with a Silver spoon can afford three square meals per day. Politicians are busy sharing two cups of rice to each household to sustain life for a month just to get votes in return in the maybe coming elections. They are all taking advantage of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

In addition to this, lockdown policies were given out by the government that there should be no interstate movements between one state and the other. Security agents guarding the borders collect a huge amount of money as a bribe to allow passage of vehicles which are highly prohibited in the state. Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has spent over N1 billion on COVID-19 where the money would never be accountable for later after the virus. To sum it all, it is often said that we are all born with competitive minds but the case is out of coronavirus. Nigerians should show empathy when dealing with fellow Nigerians. This is the time to show love to ourselves and not the time to extract one another. Nigerians would only beat the virus if we work in hands together because people will come out when there is no money to get food again and the prices are highly expensive.

Tosin Adesokan wrote from Lagos.

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