Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, President, Centre for Change, has called for caution on the gradual easing of the lockdown occasioned by COVID- 19 pandemic, saying it should not be “a licence for irresponsible behaviour”.
Okei-Odumakin made the call on Monday in a statement in Lagos, saying, “it is important to sound a note of caution on all fronts”.
According to her, this is to let people understand that relaxation of the lockdown is not a licence by the governments that Coronavirus had been defeated.
The human rights activist said that relaxation of the lockdown should also be kept under close watch and scrutiny by all relevant authorities for possible review as the occasion demands.
She urged governments not to abdicate their leadership role in this time of crisis as a result of relaxation of the lockdown.
“Government must continue to expand health facilities such as the isolation centres, ensure the provision of adequate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and testing equipment.
“They must provide kits, as well as give prompt advisory that will provide detailed and up-to-date information that will effectively guide the citizenry.
“Importantly, government should not fold its arms and expect solution to this pandemic to come from outside its shores,” she said.
Okei-Odumakin urged the public to remember that there was no generally established cure for Coronavirus yet.
“But, various vaccines being developed and tested, simply showed that we are on the way; it is not victory yet,” she said.
Okei-Odumakin, however, advised the three tiers of government not to fold their arms, but rally Nigerian institutions of higher learning and research centres to vigorously join the search for a cure to this disease.
She urged all stakeholders to take the utmost precautionary measures and diligently observe all COVID-19 protocols.
“There should be proper wearing of face masks, observation of physical distancing and other hygiene rules and regulations of regular washing of hands with soap as well as use of hand sanitisers.
“With the right encouragement and motivation, our belief is that this country has enough talents to take up any challenge and excellently discharge itself.
“We have done it before; we can do it again. Mercifully, Nigerians are tough people in all respect and by all standards.
“Finally, we should be prayerful and resolute that we shall all overcome these trying times for, as they say, tough times never last, but tough people do,” she said.