With further tightening of measures by federal and state governments aimed at tackling coronavirus in the country, correspondents examines the response of major key political actors across board to the plight of their constituents.
IN his national broadcast on Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari was emphatic that the fight against the coronavirus pandemic was no joke. While likening it to a battle for people to stay alive, the president, for the umpteenth time, called for sacrifice from the citizenry. This is notwithstanding the fact that already, many Nigerians are complaining bitterly over the excruciating pain and hunger afflicted on them by the strident measures, including lockdown of Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, designed to stave off the coronavirus from the shores of Nigeria.
Whereas many homes that could afford the luxury of stockpiling staple food following prior notice about the series of measures they deemed necessary, such items have largely dried up, just as the people have become cash trapped due to pressing daily demands, with no end in sight of the general restriction of movements. Thus, the cry for palliatives by millions of the people has assumed a frenetic tempo.
Since politicians know where to locate the people at the threshold of elections, many of the citizens also believe it should not be difficult for the major politicians come to their rescue from the voracious COVID-19.
Reports from states indicated that a few political leaders have been responding to the plea from their constituents. But what is the manner of such gesture? Are the offers mere pieces of bone meant to appease the famished?
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu distributed relief materials of 3kg of rice, cassava flakes, beans and two tomato pastes to the elderly and the most vulnerable persons in the state. The distribution of the stimulus package was targeted at 200,000 people, even amid criticism that the exercise was segmented and politicised.
The Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, also distributed a stimulus package of 3.500 bags of 2kg rice, loaves of bread, 1,500 packs of table water and sanitisers to his constituent members.
Beneficiaries of the emergency relief cut across vulnerable people in all the wards of Agege Local Government Area and Orile Local Community Development Area, market men and women, artisans, Ndigbo and Arewa members, NUT members, and PTA members, among others. However, some youths in the Agege area berated the Speaker for providing them with the popular Agege Bread as a stimulus package during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Another member of the state House of Assembly, Gbolahan Yishawu, distributed about 10,000 sanitisers and food items, including bags of rice, beans, garri and many other food ingredients. This was as Olayiwola Sobur, representing Mushin 2, donated food items and protective kits to his constituents. He donated bags of rice, hand gloves, face masks and sanitisers.