COVID-19: Nigeria’s lawmaker faults Gov. Lalong on lockdown, fumigation

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NIGERIA

A lawmaker in Nigeria’s Plateau State House of Assembly, representing Jos South community, Hon. Gwottson Dalyop Fom, has disagreed with the Governor of the State, Simon Lalong challenging him to reveal the proposed budget for the fumigation exercise.

Hon Fom, in an open letter to Lalong, said there was no time that the State Assembly approved a budget for the fumigation exercise.

In an open letter to the Governor a copy sent to Sky News Africa the lawmaker asked, “How much has been approved for the exercise and who or which body made the approval? 

Here him:

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE ON THE PROPOSED SEVEN DAY LOCKDOWN TO FUMIGATE JOS AND ENVIRONS.

Your Excellency it is with every sense of responsibility that I write you this letter during the times that the entire globe is afflicted by the Pandemic of COVID 19 popularly known as the Corona Virus.

Allow me to congratulate you on the action that your Government took to make sure that suspected cases were closely monitored and based on your last admission there are about eight individuals that are still persons of interest in the state and no confirm cases as of today. It gives me joy and an uneasy calm that of the 254 cases in Nigeria, we still do not have any known case in Plateau State.

Two days ago we woke up to the information from your Government that directed that that there will be a lock down for seven days, ostensibly for the purpose of fumigating the entire state. While on the face of it, this seems like a step in the right direction I am constraint to ask a few questions which I do believe the people of Plateau State will like to get answers to as well:

Plateau people will like to know what areas will be subject to the fumigation. It is necessary to know which parts will be affected directly so as to better prepare citizens who are going to be affected.

What is going to be the medium of fumigation and what chemicals will be used in the exercise? Will the rains that has started becoming constant, not adversely affect the fumigation?

This need to fumigate must have been informed by a clear and present danger that the Plateau citizens must have been laboring under. We will like to know how eminent the threat was and how the proposed fumigation will address the danger posed to the populace.

How much has been approved for the exercise and who or which body made the approval? Was the Plateau State House of Assembly involved in the approval of a supplementary budget approval or did the money come another source that the Plateau people should be informed about?

Further to this the plateau people need to know:

Has the government fully considered what the Corona Virus situation will portend and how it will affect the Plateau people especially the poorest of the poor amongst us? If so what palliative measures have been put in place to alleviate their sufferings? 

What other measures and plans does the Plateau State government have to ensure that if there is a real danger of disease and hunger in Plateau State that we are prepared to deal with the situation in a very transparent and forthright manner?

Is there a list of those who have enjoyed the twenty thousand naira palliative from the Federal Government? If yes I will like to know which of my constituents got the money if any.

MY TAKE:  The pandemic stares at all of us in the face and we need to be united in purpose and also be our brothers keepers at this time. I believe that monies that are used at this time should be judiciously used with due respect to the Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The Plateau people have great need of food at this time. While we say God forbid it, we must also be realistic and prepare. We need to have an isolation/treatment center with equipment’s and medication to cater to any cases that may be confirmed in the coming days; accounts of funds used during this pandemic must be rendered to the citizenry periodically. We all need to be on the same page and by the grace of God we will beat this pandemic.

Mr. Governor Sir, we are happy with your confirmation of not being in any danger yourself after the scare of a few weeks back. May God continue to grant you heath and wisdom, especially at this time,  to effectively pilot the affairs of state with wisdom and the fear of God. I wish to use this medium to ask Plateau people to please adopt the social distancing and hand washing advisory of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Long live Plateau State and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

GWOTTSON DALYOP FOM

House Member representing, Jos South State Constituency

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