In the face of the epidemic turned global pandemic, Nigerians have involuntarily become accustomed to the new normal called “palliative”. It is a word commonly used by the elites when all provided explanations seem vague.
Palliatives in simple term are any measures geared towards reducing or cushioning the negative effect of a situation. Whatever provides succor in the face of a challenge is a palliative. According to the word web dictionary, a palliative is the moderation of pain or sorrow by making it easier to bear.
Due to the increase in the number of death rate as a result of the current effect of covid-19, government of nations deemed it fit to curtail the situation before it takes away more life. On the 30th of March 2020, the number one citizen ordered for the total closure of Nigeria porous borders. But the deed has been done. An anonymous Italian on a business trip to Nigeria tested positive to the deadly virus.
The world health organization had previously warned that should the virus get through to Africa, it will be a monumental disaster. This is quite true because Nigeria lacked the wherewithal to curtail the spread.
However, caution was thrown to the wind and due to collective error on the part of the leaders as well as the citizens, the virus managed to spread it tentacles claiming it very first victim, Alhaji Suleiman Achimugu, a sixty seven year old indigene of Kogi state. He had just returned from the United Kingdom. The news spread like wild fire, Nigerians were gripped with fear but found solace on the information that the said victim had underlying health issues.
The dreaded virus took yet another prominent individual. This time it was the Chief of Staff to the president, Abba Kyari. However, while the virus continue to bask in it proven might, Italy, United States of America and more countries were losing the fight to the virus. The recovery rate is relatively on the low. But one thing remained important and that is; palliatives. Should everyone stay indoors and hope for the best? It is rightly believed that staying home will help to track as well as curtail the spread of pandemic just as in the case of Wuhan and Madagascar success story.
Therefore the need for a fiscal stimulus was emphasized. Rich individuals gave out huge donation. The United States for instance announced a whooping sum of $2trillion stimulus package in response to the impact of covid-19 and it was appropriately dispatched. This was the case in many other nations of the world but for Nigerians, it seems as though the African man cares only but a little about his brother. How can the legislature from a particular middle belt state choose to buy exorbitant cars instead of providing aid to the led?
The president of the nation told her citizens that a total number of 2.6 million individual received her palliatives and intends to expand it to 3.6million. Various individuals, organizations as well as financial institutions such as; The International Monetary Fund, Central Bank of Nigeria, World Health Organization devoted huge sums towards this cause. But then, the so called palliatives were only heard not seen.
For a good number of persons, the only palliative they saw were messages from NCDC, ten free texts per day and opera mini free 50mb. The reason for this is perhaps that, there is a very poor data as well as some technicalities. But the office of the Accountant General of the Federation got burnt few hours after well meaning Nigerians called for the publication of the names of those who received such palliatives of twenty thousand naira. Governors cried for financial aid and there after set up a bungalow and a structure lesser than a three bedroom flat. No one wonder an ordinary wind could blow off an isolation centre in Kogi state.
How then is the government able to get into every nook and cranny when it comes to election matters? There is never been an election where the villages were left with no polling unit or party representatives. There is a loophole in making and execution of policies. Today, Kano state is fast becoming the epicenter to the deadly virus claiming lives even though the government of that state seems to deny this fact.
Let it be known that should the nation fail as seen in the case of Kano state, then we are only shying away from the eventual dooms day. Hunger is no friend to a man. Victims of today were survivors of yesterday and also, survivors of today may as well be victims of tomorrow.
Therefore, let the machinery of government look inward, shelf the urge for amassing wealth and be good to humanity because what is done today will account for the future result. It is well with our nation, leaders and everyone, Amen!
– Olayinka Kayode Kingsley