The Coronavirus pandemic
Sir: Nigeria is a reactive and not a proactive country in the wake of local and global crises. Leaders do not have the whiff of paternal instinct. They act in a hurry and put fear in people. The bewildered silence from the first in the wake of Coronavirus is the reason we have reported cases in Nigeria leading to the shutting down of “this and that.” Soon we will shut down the country.
This fits and start way of doing things is a stopgap measure. Nigeria’s economy is not as near advanced as the economies in the First World. Can we shut markets that are not as organized as the stores in Europe?
This gaunt specter should not prevent us from going out to look for food since Nigeria does not have food grains to distribute to citizens like in the Egypt in the days of yore.
I abhor living like a group of threatened hermit crabs, entrenched and isolated. May the Lord help me and help us all, amen.We should have been strategic like entrepreneurs with strategic goals, seeing the future now, working with the future in mind today, instead of waiting to deal with the future when it comes with no contingency plans. Our leaders went about selling and buying without target setting and motivating citizens to guard against the virus when it broke out yonder killing people before it came to our shores.
The essence of governance is to collaborate, influence, be sensitive and diplomatic in the handling of human beings, but rhetoric for governmental people is always better than relationship.
They always engage in elective mutism until pushed to act. Leadership is a gut level occupation, pleasant not ornerier, and leaders are team members with the public not masters. They do not intimidate, lost in the mists of power.
I am not judging for it is very hard to lead but I am trying to put tolerance and judgment in the right perspective. The amount voted to fight the pandemic is too small; the level of awareness about the pandemic is equally not adequate. For it appears that only city dwellers are entitled to be informed by government as there are no isolation centres in the rural areas and no place to collect free hand sanitizers, nose guard and facial mask.
Managers of this pandemic should move away from obligatory small talk at conferences, after which they point out refreshments. Leaders should meet Nigerians half way if they really want change. In this case, they may practically carry Nigerians on their back and not assume that Nigerians would celebrate them for their feyness.
By Simon Abah, wrote from Abuja