Former military Head of State Gen Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (retd) has broken his silence since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country with a call for synergy between all the tiers of government to fight the further spread of the pandemic.
Babangida said in view of the catastrophic damage by the pandemic in Europe, America and other parts of the world, there is no time for blame games but a concerted effort and support of individuals and organisations in the country to fight the plague.
The former military leader in a personally signed statement in Minna on Sunday pointed out that “it is time for synergy between Federal Government efforts and those of states where the majority of citizens live with attendant implications for flattening the curve, increasing testing capacity and reducing the pains.”
Babangida said that the Nigerian government has a lot to learn from the lessons and experiences of China, Taiwan and other countries where the pandemic has claimed thousands of lives since its outbreak.
While commending government both at the state and federal level on the efforts so far made towards managing the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, IBB appealed that “there is no room for blame game now but concerted support by all Nigerians.”
“I commend with due regards to the professional display and wonderful efforts of our frontline medical personnel for their patriotism, resilience, sacrifice and commitment to this fight of eradicating COVID-19.
Although he lamented that the numbers keep rising, he expressed joy that the situation is still being kept at manageable levels within the limits of the country’s health care system, adding that these gains need to be sustained with the enforcement of appropriate and consistent social distancing prescription for effective prevention of further spread of the pandemic.”
He also lauded the courage of individuals, groups and corporate bodies for supporting government at various levels, including “governments officials for various palliatives geared towards alleviating the excruciating pains associated with the lockdown.”
He enjoined Christians in the country to use the holy period of Easter to pray for the country, stressing that “our Muslim ummah should also use the month preceding the holy month of Ramadan to pray fervently for Allah’s mercy and reprieve in the circumstances we find ourselves
“We all have our roles to play collectively and there is a need to observe all recommendations of NCDC and adhere strictly to the directives of government on basic hygiene – wash your hands frequently with soap under running water, avoid touching your face and high-contact surfaces and also avoid gatherings and physical contact. Thus, practise social distancing to prevent the spread of the COVID-19,” he added.