Opinion:COVID19: Makinde’s Commitments And Citizens Unflinching Support, The Unity That Works| By Ajayi Oluwaseun Samson
I would like us to recalled what went viral in Oyo state about a month ago, “Oyo state government gave a breakdown of 2.7billion spent on COVID-19”. The state government said a total of #2.7billion has been spent on palliatives, security and medical supplies in a bid to contain COVID-19 outbreak within the state.
In his explanation, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinola Ojo, explained that the total amount of #2.7billion was spent on setting up treatments, isolation centres, and palliatives for the state residents and others necessary details needed to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
He also said farmers were not left out as procurement provided for them.
However, the citizens of Oyo state find it hard to believe that such amount has been spent on the coronavirus containment. Some residents of the state have taken it upon themselves to question the state government about the credibility of the account. To them, this is just an opportunity for the government to embezzle money and hide under the canopy of coronavirus.
Contrary to this, eyewitnesses have come to testify and explain why citizens of the state must believe the state government. These are ex-covid19 patients who were tested positive of the virus, taken to isolation centers, given adequate care and later discharged after their results returned negative.
According to these witnesses, the isolation centers converted or built, by the Oyo state government are topnotch, in good and perfect shapes, conducive environment for patients, good medical facilities and balanced diet meal for patients as well as uncompromised security.
They confirmed the professionalism of the medical practitioners and the dedication of government to the course. According to them, they were properly taken care of, right from their admission time till when they were discharged. And in fact, mentioned how the government took care of them even after being healed, as tests were carried out on each patient not less than twice to be sure they are free of covid19, and these costly tests were done repeatedly for free.
From an ex-covid19 victim who chose to remain anonymous, said the citizens should believe whatever it is the government said they spent for this coronavirus because, the government has really tried in taking care of covid19 patients by ensuring that adequate medical facilities are available and accessible. He admonished citizens not to grumble at the amount spent by the government because seeing and witnessing is believing.
His experience and testimony of the isolation center was a prove that the government is truly working toward the the betterment all Oyo State citizens and are not just bluffing.
This then brings us to our duties as patriotic citizens of Oyo state. Citizens should learn to be sensitive in their health-related cases. As health sector is not an “opened expenditure” like road, electricity, job provision, etc.
Thereby, what the government is doing in the health sector is not as visible to the public as in other physical projects. This has made us to feel that the government is not doing anything, whereas they’ve done a lot.
Citizens and opposition parties should not just criticize government blindly and say the government is embezzling in disguise, all because the health sector is not a physical expenditure like the others. We should be clear that with good roads, sound education, job provision, good electricity and the likes, if there is no good health, all will be useless and amount to nothing. This pandemic era Is, hereby, not the right time to politicize the efforts of the government in the health sector.
As much as citizens have the right to monitor the government and her expenditures, the citizens should not come too heavily on the government this pandemic period as regards spending and expenses on the containment of the pandemic. This is a case of emergency, nobody foresaw the coronavirus coming, therefore, no budget was made for it beforehand and no one can predict for how long it will be here.
The state government is overwhelmed with the outbreak already and needs all the support they can get from the citizens to successfully fight this outbreak within the state. We should also encourage government by coming out for the test as they intensify and increase the testing in our State because not all states in our great country are faithful in carrying on the test.
Citizens should try to encourage and recognize government’s efforts so far in fighting the virus. Oppositions parties should be careful when trying to insight the people of the state against the government. This is not the time to play a game of politics, this is about life and the wellbeing of the society as a whole. Unity and support should come first in this period.
Just as the government has since day one of this pandemic been considerate enough of its citizen by not observing a total lockdown of the state, thereby making economic activities and living bearable within the state; this is the time for the citizens to show their patriotism.
Everyone should take responsibilities and comply by the set rules and guidelines given by health practitioners, to stay safe.
As the governor of Oyo state, Engr. Seyi Makinde has earlier stated that the state government will make a law that will make wearing of facemask a compulsion within the state, this is the right time to enforce law. If force is the only language that will make all and sundry to be responsible citizens of the state, and care for our health, it should be done without hesitation.
The State House of Assembly should pass the bill into law already and make it a working law, if that will be our last resort and if that will be the only way to get the citizens adherence to health guidelines on this COVID19 crisis. Just as other states are enforcing these guidelines, the Oyo state government should follow suit and enforce public health precautions.
Especially, with the opening of religious centers; the use of nose mask, social distancing, frequent sanitizing and washing of hands should not be taken for granted. Also, as schools are set to resume their normal academic activities within the state, parents and guardians should ensure that their children/ wards use face mask and stay protected.
Our individual responsibility and cooperation with the government is highly needed. Each one of us as good citizens of Oyo state should also take personal precative measures and observe every needed guidance and guideline to stay safe, so as not to jeopardize our personal health and the efforts of the state government.
If these (nose masking, social distancing, frequent hand sanitizing and washing) are properly observed, we all can resume to our normal daily activities with little or no hindrances.
The goodness of the state is our collective responsibility!
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