A former military administrator of Ogun and Rivers states, Group Captain Sam Ewang (rtd), has warned that the lockdown imposed on Nigerians by the federal and state governments as part of measures to combat the spread of coronavirus pandemic is causing more deaths.
Speaking with Daily Independent at the weekend, Ewang, who said many poor citizens were not provided with the palliatives, said many Nigerians are dying of hunger than from the virus.
According to him, the situation in the country is very unfortunate as the larger population of Nigerians rely on daily and menial jobs to feed their families, which has been impossible due to the restriction of movements.
“I am very sorry to say this but the reality is that so many people are dying of hunger rather than the coronavirus. We are still moving backwards with the way we do things. This calls for our politicians to begin to think again, to plan for Nigeria and not themselves.
“Even now, if this government had been a planning government, I cannot see why we are unable to do certain things for the poor during this coronavirus pandemic.
“Even if we can’t do anything some other time for them, I think this is the best opportunity to show that we care for the poor. Wrong decisions are being taken all over the country. They just want to make noise so people cannot say they haven’t done anything. They are restricting movements yet people are dying.
“You have labourers who go to sites on a daily basis and they feed their families with what they get from there. If they don’t go out, they can’t eat. I tell you that within this period, I have received visits from over 200 people but unfortunately, there is little I can do since I am no longer in government. It is very, very unfortunate,” Ewang said.
While commending Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and his team for measures taken so far to tackle the disease, Ewang said the Federal Government should have planned ahead when the disease was ravaging other parts of the world before Nigeria recorded her first case.
“It’s unfortunate. Normally, I wouldn’t have loved to make any comment on the issues today because I don’t want to compare our nation with anybody. But I think the Federal Government is trying its best. The state governments are equally trying their best.
“I really appreciate Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. I very much appreciate him for his pre-emptive actions so far in tackling the coronavirus disease. I also want to thank those that are working with him.
“Otherwise, this thing came like a thunder entirely; even though I believe that we should have prepared for it because it is a pandemic as it has come to be. We shouldn’t have waited but plan ahead but I still thank the government for the efforts made so far.
“The problem we have has to do with our population. The population we have is not such that you can lock the people in and bar them from coming out but unfortunately, the situation requires that.
I am also a politician too. We need to think about our people; people are dying not on account of the disease but hunger. Right now, there are some places that people are dying because of the disease, but we are not able to identify them. I will keep emphasising it; people are dying but unfortunately, I am not in a position where I can help so much,” he said.