Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed at the weekend urged residents of the state to brace up for the second wave of COVID-19 believed to be deadlier than the first wave of the pandemic.
Mohammed, a former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, said fighting the pandemic successfully would require sacrifice, discipline and utter commitment on the part of all citizens nationwide.
He gave the charge in a message he addressed to the people of Bauchi on Friday to mark the advent of 2021, urging them to observe COVID-19 guidelines and protocols with due diligence.
He said: “We must see and treat this disease as a clear and present danger that requires sacrifice, discipline and commitment to fight it. We handle it with kid gloves only to our collective peril.
“We must be on the same page with health professionals and obey the already known protocols of handling the pandemic,” the governor in his New Year message.
The governor congratulated the people of the state, for overcoming the myriad of challenges that came their ways in 2020, especially with the COVID-19 and its associated consequences.
He said: “Never before have the people been so gruesomely tested from Yellow and Lassa Fevers, to the Covid-19 to the slowdown in the economy, ecological disasters and looming security challenges.”
He described 2020 as a year of unforgettable experience given the peculiar challenges of the year in which people were confronted with daunting health, economic, security and social challenges.
He, however, urged the people of the state, and indeed Nigerians in general, irrespective of ethnic colouration, political differences or religious persuasions to unite in ushering Year 2021, a year of restoration and revival.
He said: “But the good news is that you took it all in stride, relying on our historical resilience and a rich heritage of trust, in God Almighty who, through the intervention of our religious and traditional rulers and all men and women of goodwill, spared Bauchi State the ordeal of succumbing to these vicissitudes.
“Looking back, I am convinced that our ability to survive these challenges was due, in part, to elite consensus which helped to galvanise the masses towards the dictates of survival.
“For, no matter the orchestrations and drama of politics, we can confidently say that Bauchi State is the quintessence of the triumph of politics of engagement, collaboration and stake-holding over the politics of division and rancour”.
“Thus, like adversaries in a shipwreck, we were acutely aware that our survival depended on our ability to confront our monsters together: quite often, hunger, disease, unemployment, natural disasters and insecurity respect no boundaries or recognise any distinctions.
“History will recall, even when we would have left the scene that, displaying the hallmark of political sagacity and patriotism, both the executive and legislative arms buried their differences, thereby finding common grounds to jointly navigate the ship of state through turbulent economic and political waters.
“That was despite the sharks that reared their heads and tried to muddy the waters, midway. That is why in spite of the second wave, we can say that we contained the COVID-19, mitigated the harsh impact of the lockdown on our people and recorded the most peaceful palliative intervention.”