Nigerians, are looking forward to a Presidential broadcast any moment from now. Across the land, it is turning into a major issue of discussion.
It would be the President’s third in a row, but the number of broadcasts within a short interval is proof that the Coronavirus situation has become indeed dire.
As Nigerians await the broadcast of President Muhammadu Buhari, there is growing anxiety.
Circumstances which existed barely two weeks ago, have changed drastically.
The economy appears increasingly shaky.
Since the advent of the Coronavirus, oil prices have taken a nosedive. Prices, experts say, are at their lowest level ever.
The number of confirmed cases in the country is rapidly increasing, with Kano State, firmly in the spotlight, given the level of deaths recorded in the last one week.
91 new cases were confirmed Sunday. This has brought the total number of affirmed cases in Nigeria to 1273.
The stats show that a total of 239 persons have recovered while 40 others have died as a result of the pandemic.
Politics appears to have crept into the centre stage, with the PDP and the APC trading words, especially over the situation in Kano.
The PDP urged the Buhari administration to do more to ward off the spread of the Coronavirus in the country.
The statement said the PDP “has demanded an immediate investigation into the disturbing mass death in Kano state.”
The party called for a Presidential visit to the state, “where no fewer than 640 citizens had reportedly died under mysterious circumstances in the last one week.”
It further noted on its official Twitter handle, “The @OfficialPDPNig notes with dismay that the @MBuhari Presidency had failed to take any concrete step on this frightening development, but is, as usual, waiting to be prodded to stand up to the demand of the office and proceed to Kano state to identity with the people, find solution and contain the ugly situation.”
The, APC fired back, accusing the PDP of turning the fight against the Coronavirus into a political dogfight.
It said the PDP ought to come up with inputs that would contribute to the eradication of the virus instead of denigrating the good work that is being done by the Buhari administration to forestall the spread of the disease.
Said the APC, “We urge the PDP to come clean on why it is asking the President to embark on a state visit now.
“Nigerians should ask @OfficialPDPNig if it is praying that the whole of Kano and, indeed, Nigeria be swarming with Corvid-19 cases and corpses in order to fit into its known and unpatriotic wishes against our beloved country.”
“Shockingly, while all well-meaning organisations, home and abroad, and individuals are putting in positive shifts to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, the @OfficialPDPNig , has rather chosen to dance on the graves of the unfortunate Nigerians that have been killed by the disease”, the APC said in reaction.
It added, “We invite the PDP to borrow a leaf from the patriotic efforts being made by the cross-party platform, the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), who has kept politics aside and joined the President Buhari government in jointly, proactively and frontally combating the pandemic which is currently a threat to our very existence. The PDP must understand that only the living can play politics.”
It is however the inability of the Nigerian people to earn a living, the ability to stock their homes with food supplies and the crippling restrictions on movement, that are raising serious concerns across the nation.
Not many agree that the palliative promised by governments across the country is getting to the people.
Nigeria has, a, population of over 200 million people, with most of that population living below the poverty line.
Under its social programme, the Buhari administration had earlier captured 2.6 million households.
The President directed the appropriate agency during his last address to the nation to increase the number by one million additional households.
Most Nigerians appear to think that the over 40 million people who have BVN numbers could well be a starting point for officials who are trying to reach out with palliatives.
Signs that the lockdown period may be extended exist. It is possible that the President is not likely to ease the policy in place in Lagos, Abuja and Ondo.
More states, no less than 25, now have recorded cases of COVID 19.
The Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, are, pushing for the inclusion of strict measures in the President’s speech.
These include the closure and tighter monitoring of state boundaries, increased restrictions in terms of movement and an upsurge in the enforcement of social distancing guidelines among others.
For most Nigerians interested in how they would survive hunger; how they would get some money into their pockets; that aspect of the President’s speech would prove very critical.
The clock ticks, Nigerians wait for Mr. President to address them. What will Buhari say?