By Laleye Dipo
Former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd), has called for more collaborative effort on the part of all stakeholders for the containment of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Gen. Babangida made the call in a statement made available to newsmen in Minna on Sunday in which he also called for synergy between the federal and state governments in their plans to check the spread of the pandemic.
Though Babangida said the figure of those concerned has continued to rise, he nonetheless commended the three tiers of governments “on the efforts so far made towards managing the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria”.
“Although the numbers keep rising, the situation is still being kept at manageable levels within the limits of our health care system.
“However, these gains need to be sustained with enforcement of appropriate and consistent social distancing prescription for effective prevention of further spread of the pandemic” the former military president declared.
According to him, “It is time for synergy between federal government efforts and that of states where majority of citizens live with attendant implications for flattening the curve increasing testing capacity and reduce the pains and we have the lesson and experiences of China, Taiwan and other countries to benefit from.
“There is no room for blame game now but concerted support by all Nigerians before commending with due regards to the professional display and wonderful efforts of our front line medical personnel for their patriotism, resilience, sacrifice and commitment to this fight of eradicating COVID-19.
“We all have our roles to play collectively and there is need to observe all recommendations of NCDC and adhere strictly to the directives of government on basic hygiene — washing your hands frequently with soap under running water, avoid touching your face and high-contact surfaces and also avoiding gatherings and physical contact thus practise social distancing to prevent spread of the COVID.
Babangida, who saluted what he called the courage of individuals, groups and corporate entities for supporting governments at various levels, also praised governments at various levels for the palliatives released, which was geared towards alleviating the excruciating pains associated with the lockdown.
On the celebration of Easter, Babangida urged “our Christian brethren to use the Holy period of Easter to pray for the country in the COVID-19 pandemic situation”, and also challenged Muslims to use the month preceding the Holy month of Ramadan to pray fervently for Allah’s mercy and reprieve in the circumstances the country finds itself.