By Nzeh Frankwhite
“Its better for us to err on the side of caution” those were the words of an erudite scholar, intellectual power house and coincidentally, a top member of the ruling All Progressive Congress, Dr TOE Ekechi (former Director Planning and Monitoring, APC 2015 Presidential Campaign Council), he had used those words as his final comments to a battery of Abuja based journalists ( print and electronic).
The historic event (press conference) would have placed our dear country on safer pedestal, had our dear president taken heed to the admonition of this illustrious Nigerian, who had earlier in the same day(13th of March 2020), taken paid full page adverts on several Nigerian newspapers to publish his personal letter to Mr President on measures to contain the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Nigeria, where he called for a nationwide shutdown of all non essential institutions and activities that attracts 50 people and above, he recommended for the immediate suspension of all major social activities, like church, schools, NYSC, rallies, crusades, birthday parties, burials, etc.
A part of his statement read thus, ” As it is said, a stitch in time saves nine, a cursory look at what is happening in China and Italy reveals that thousands of people had died of Coronavirus and based on our way of life, the disease has the capacity to wipe out Nigeria in a few months if preemptive measures are not put in place .
This appeal is not prophetic, but logically empirical ” Dr Ekechi went on to make so many logically proactive suggestions on how we could take advantage of the time we had to secure our country from this dreaded disease, but, no…….he was probably seen as dooms day prophet and that has brought us where we are today, with a lot of high profile Nigerians testing positive to the dreaded virus ( including the President’s hardworking Chief of Staff Abba Kyari), currently quarantined and several other on personal isolation, I wonder who is safe in this country.
I am probably doing this review with so much apprehension as our nation is under threat and we have all become an endangered specie, with no solution in sight, from even among the world powers, the threat is real……..may God reach out to us from his exalted throne of grace and show mercy.
May be if these proactive measures were taken, our country would have been spared this obvious state of fear and tension currently pervading the land.
Now, we have eventually adopted these same measures, but it may be coming a little late.
As I think through our current circumstance as a nation (especially as regards the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic), those last lines of Dr Ekechi resonates in my subconscious.
It is better for us to err on the side of caution” truth be told, it wouldn’t have cost us much if we adopted those measures early enough, but we are paying for it now, both in cash and in kind. I advise we remember all those that have tested positive to this Chinese virus (apologies to Donald Trump), may their cases be like that of the Italian index case, who came, saw and conquered.
God bless Nigeria