COVID-19: WHAT I WILL DO IF I WERE A GOVERNOR By Bello Shagari
If I were a Governor, I will change the priorities of my state, forgetting every other aspect of the budget and directing the whole money towards saving my state from the outbreak of Covid-19 virus.
I will buy off every foodstuff from the market, and every hoarded foodstuff by any trader will be ceased and compensated. If there’s no suspected case in my state, I will ask every family in need to have one representative in front of their houses for those foodstuffs to be distributed to their households. Every house which has more than one person at the collection point will not be given in order to maintain discipline and the distributors will be escorted by soldiers for enforcement.
Every household will be required to make a confirmation of receiving such materials via phone or email. I will work with telecommunications companies to allow for free calls at least for two days in order to achieve the objective. Every local government will have a similar distribution of food packages and I will travel around to ensure that the food has reached the public in need. We will put pressure on the wealthy to give their own contributions to their neighbors and work with the ulama to ensure cooperation.
I will then completely shut down the state with zero movement including in local governments. No one will come in and no one will go out of the state. Anyone found outside shall be arrested and quarantined. I will utilize school hostels for the homeless and state hotels for isolation and treatments. All guests in the state hotels must move to private hotels and if it becomes necessary some private hotels will be utilized. I will continue to work with a few who will be given permit to roam about to make those arrangements possible; they will always be well kitted for protection. I will also try to make contact with the outside world to see if we can make arrangements to get equipments transported to better prepare our isolation centers and prepare for the worst; which could have been done before now.
As a government, we will gradually come up with a way to ease curfew by having a criteria which will allow selected people to acquire permit to roam about for very important reasons or emergencies and to specific locations. Such people are likely to be escorted by officials. I will make available contact numbers for any suspected case to be moved to isolation centers for treatment.
And of course, this would be done with the cooperation of the state assembly who are usually compliant and where they do not comply I will execute whatever I can and face the consequences later. The people must be protected with or without their approval, because tomorrow God will ask us as leaders of what we have done to curtail the epidemic.
I’m not saying it can easily be done but we must make every attempt to save the lives of people at this critical moment. Corona Virus is real and if we joke with it, it will consume much of our present and our future. The idea is vague but can be improved upon. It may not be sustainable, but let’s be done with the emergency and discuss sustainability later.
Is the above possible in a government setting?
Bello Bala Shagari.