COVID-19 Presents Opportunity to Demand Better Governance

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Iboro Otu, 2019 Governorship candidate of the ANRP in Akwa Ibom State

Iboro Otu urges Nigerians, particularly the youths to demand and get guarantees from governments at various levels by assuming their civic responsibilities

As Nigeria prepares for an eminent lockdown it is inevitable that many of our brothers and sisters are not ready. The unpreparedness of our people is due to a direct lack of resources that could lead to more devastating impact than COVID-19 itself.

My focus is on the survival of the great people of Nigeria, especially my amiable, hardworking, inspiring youths and indigenes of Akwa Ibom state.

It is in times like this that a credible and effective government shows itself at all levels. Where are all those leaders and their empowerment programmes? It is now that the bags of rice, hand sanitizers, gloves and face masks for everyone in our communities are needed! Are you seeing them in your neigbourhood? Who is your representative at the local, state and federal level? What is your government doing?

Where are the world class hospitals? Where have the economic, health, rural and social infrastructure budgets been allocated? What is the plan for the many millions of daily-pay and unemployed people who will be holed up at home for weeks, if not months? What measures are being taken for the sick in these trying times? These questions, and many more, have to be addressed now before they send you home to die quietly. Be mindful of fake assurances and false bravado mixed with great words of inspiration. History has shown us this is what happens right before the noose snaps.

I call unto our youths to gather small hay while the sun sets. Demand and get guarantees before the ‘lock up/lock down’ begins. If the government can’t take care of you and your loved ones, now is the time for you and your loved ones to take care of government. You take care of government by assuming your civic responsibilities. Civic responsibilities include going to the appropriate offices, asking the right questions, demanding for answers and auditing them. On-the-spot assessment is necessary at this point. A quiet war has begun with an invisible enemy whose bullet is also silent. Don’t keep silent and die to a public burial. Civic responsibility means in times when the government fails to provide answers, the people must assume leadership and provide the necessary for everyone and their loved ones.

Adequate protective and survival measures must be put in place now and the government must be held totally accountable for that.