By Ignatius Okorocha
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has appealed for calm over the protests in Sapele, Delta State against the state government’s two-week extension of the lockdown.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga,Omo-Agege also condemned, in strong terms, the alleged shooting of one of the protesters by security agents and called for the arrest and prosecution of the culprit (s).
According to him, this will serve as deterrent to other trigger-happy security men.
While noting that the lockdown has caused untold hardship on the people, the lawmaker pointed out that the long-term benefits of the stay-at-home order is to protect the citizens from contracting the deadly Coronavirus (Covid-19).
He explained that authorities at all levels of government are making frantic efforts to get palliatives to the poorest of the poor.
Omo-Agege recalled that around 1919 when the population of the area now known as Nigeria was only a fraction of what it is today, not less than half a million people died of a virulent global influenza pandemic brought by overseas ship passengers into coastal areas from where it spread elsewhere.
“No doubt, the lockdown has caused difficulties and inconveniences for many citizens but in these trying times, it takes courage for our elected leaders to adopt global best practices by extending the lockdown so as to curb the spread of the deadly Coronavirus disease and save lives.
“As President Buhari and governors, including Governor Okowa of Delta State have said, our common objective is to contain the spread of the Coronavirus and to provide space, time and resources for an aggressive and collective action while ongoing comprehensive public health measures including case identification, testing, isolation and contact tracing capabilities are intensified.
“No doubt, the lockdown has caused many inconveniences for millions, especially for our daily wage earners and many others in the informal sector but for a disease that ravages with no guarantee of cure, and the fact that life has no duplicate, staying at home to curb its spread is a most reasonable imperative.
“Too many lives are being lost and far too many families are going through deep grief caused by Covid-19; while the Delta State government weighs possibilities of making things better, we should all strive to appreciate the deep seriousness of the issue.
“Nonetheless, warnings about social distancing, hand-washing and other preventive measures given by relevant state and federal authorities deserve our adherence.
“These are trying times, palliatives and sacrificial giving from government, the private sector and individuals can make things easier. Importantly, we all need to support efforts being made by the federal and state authorities including the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) towards curbing Corvid-19 and saving our people’s lives,” he stated.