By Franca Joseph
Criticism of the Federal and State Governments imposed lock-downs in some parts of the country, as part of measures to stem the spread of COVID-19, has continued to receive the ire of Nigerians as the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) has joined the bandwagon of groups challenging the authorities responsible for these directives to backup their proclamations with the creation of social safety nets for the people during the lock-down period.
This call was made by the President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Biodun Ogunyemi on Thiursday April 2, 2020, in Ibadan, Oyo State.
According to the union, the lock-downs may be exercises in futility, if the people are left without some palliatives. It warned of a potential uprising if the lock-downs continued without provisions to assuage the people’s needs.
“Access to electricity and running water and an unbroken chain of food supply and availability of other essential items should be key components of the policy called lockdown.
“Unless the people’s survival needs are factored into the equation, governments at the national and sub-national levels may be courting an uncontrollable regime of rebellion which may be counterproductive to the cause of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria”.
Professsor Ogunyemi pointed out the fact that catastrophes such as the COVID-19 pandemic had no recognition for national boundaries, thus making it compulsory that the whole of human must work together to create a safer, better world for all to live in.
“ASUU subscribes to this winning formula and path to collective health. In this our shared globe, no one is safe epidemiologically, socially or physically until everyone is safe.
“We can conquer the fear emerging from the manifestation of this global pandemic in our little corners. We can contribute to the global movement for prevention and control of its spread by applying the health guides and information from the World Health Organisation and other professional institutions and agencies”.