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Wednesday, April 22, 2020


HRM E.C.D. Abia


- Monarch, LG Chair, indigenes assess AKSG lockdown, decontamination and palliative Measures

By Edifon Solomon

The Paramount Ruler of Eket, His Royal Majesty, Edidem E. C. D. Abia, has cautioned against the danger of ignoring precautionary measures put in place by the government and relevant agencies to delimit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking with newsmen in his Eket residence in Akwa Ibom State, the Monarch stressed that ignorance, vis-à-vis assumptions that underestimate the vicious nature of the pandemic, increases the vulnerability of a population, hence a catalyst to the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus.

This came in the wake of concerns expressed in some quarters over difficulty in adjusting to the limitations of freedom movement, social distancing and inconvenience for jobbers in sustaining their livelihood, as against government effort to prevent the COVID-19 contagion.

The Monarch described the COVID-19 pandemic as novel and applauded the Akwa Ibom State government lockdown policy, the decontamination of public places as well as efforts to reach out to needy citizen with foodstuffs in a bid to prevent the contagion in the State. These, he affirmed, were in the interest of the public and urged the people to perceive.

In his words, “those that say Akwa Ibom State is doing too much compared to situation of the pandemic in the state are ignorant. They do not know and I belief the government is doing absolutely the right thing.

“...I’ve seen the new law signed by the Governor has just enacted, it is very important and am in full support of it. This pandemic is not going to wait for us. It is already here. You may say only 6 people have been identified, but you should also ask how many people have been tested, considering the difficulty of tracing contacts and the virus doesn’t have to show symptoms that you are infected” Abia said.

In his opinion, Edidem E. C. D. Abia maintained that the most appropriate thing is the “government should give people two days to do shopping then after two days there should be no market; no buying or selling of anything for two weeks. If you are sick you call and they will come and take you to the hospital. If there is a complete lockdown for two weeks, then you will see those that are infected, because it will manifest, then they can be picked up and put in the quarantine and treated, then those who are not infected are now free to move around, but even then, one will still have to be very cautious”.

Speaking further, Edidem Abia said people who think that they need to continue to live and behave the way they used to behave in the season of this ravaging contagion are ignorant of the way the pandemic spreads.

Citing examples form North America and Europe, Abia said unlike Germany and few other countries that confronted the outbreak with extreme measures, countries like Italy and Spain treated it kid gloves and the results are obvious.

Similarly, the United States of America, despite being regarded as the greatest country in the world is today worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic because, according to him, “they did not prepare for it and then they are too mindful of individual rights”.

“This is like war and you are at war with an enemy you cannot see. When you are at war, individual rights are suspended so that the entire community can survive”, he opined.

The Chairman of Eket Local Government Area and Chairman, Association of Local Government in Nigeria (ALGON), in the state, Mr. Frank Archibong, in his view, described the Udom Emmanuel-led government’s approach in averting the COVID-19 pandemic of in the state as proactive and humane.

Citing the equipment of State-owned healthcare facilities with state of the art equipment, including ventilators numbering up to nineteen, training of special intervention team of health workers, establishment of isolation centres and decontamination of public places, Archibong maintained that Akwa Ibom State had been ahead of the outbreak in many ways.

Hear him: “I want to thank and commend His Excellency the Governor of Akwa Ibom State for being very proactive towards the management of this pandemic. ...I am aware that a brand new isolation centre is being built in Akwa Ibom State and for the state to bring this decontamination exercise here to Eket, is a very laudable one. I want to thank His Excellency for giving us this attention. ...we cannot wait till people start dropping before we begin to do things. This is what I call proactivity. This is what I call a stitch in time and we know it will save nine.

Some members of the public, Mrs. Victoria Bassey from Assang community in Eket, Mr. Mfon Bassey of Eket Urban II and Noah Enewaji, a resident of the area, who were accosted separately expressed consciousness of implications of the established precautionary measures and hazards associated with prohibited behaviours.
While expressing satisfaction with government measures towards combating the COVID-19 pandemic, they appealed for more palliative interventions to encourage compliance with the lockdown regulations.

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