The Northern Elders Forum has commended the efforts of the Federal Government in addressing the alarming situation of COVID – 19 in Kano State.
Prof. Ango Abdullahi, the Convener of the forum gave the commendation in a statement in Kaduna on Thursday.
Mr Abdullahi noted that the efforts were vital in limiting further escalation of infections in the entire North and the country.
According to him, the forum shares the nation’s concern over the daily rise in verified cases of infections from COVID-19 all over the country, including Kano state.
“The forum condoles with families who have lost members to this pandemic, and prays for the full recovery of others who have tested positive to the virus.
“The forum commends the efforts of the Federal Government towards addressing the alarming situation in Kano, and notes that these efforts are vital in limiting the further escalation of infections in the entire North and the country.
“In particular, we commend the decision to deploy a strong medical team , among others to verify the causes of many deaths that are being popularly attributed to the pandemic.
“As well as assist the government of Kano State to improve its facilities, investigations and treatment of suspected infections and those who are infected.”
Mr Abdullahi further commended the decision of the federal government to source for equipment and other facilities on behalf of the Kano State government, and urged that this be done with speed and openness.
He however called for more to be done in providing medical facilities, personnel, Protective Personal Equipment (PPEs) to ensure total success in containing the virus and treatment of infected persons.
“Citizens with other ailments cannot get medical attention due to restricted availability of spaces, equipment and more importantly personnel.
“Testing and preparation of isolation centres are far behind the rate of spread of the virus, and these need to be addressed with the resources of the government of Kano State, the Federal Government and public spirited individuals and corporate individuals.
“We cannot overemphasize the need for government of Kano State to take steps to regain confidence and support of the citizens of the State; to open its medical assets and give medical personnel the protection and confidence,
“And other resources they need and support the population to stay at home and observe other regulations.”
He advised Kano state government to improve its strategic communication strategies, ensure openness with regards to causes of recent deaths, and more effective means of convincing the public over the realities of the dangers we all face.
Mr Abdullahi said that the forum regrets attempts by many state governments “to play politics with numbers for what appears to be expectations that more funds from federal government and foreign donors will be allocated to them.”
He stressed that what the nation requires now were good policies that protect all Nigerians; equipment and facilities for testing and treatment and resources to support people who will find it hard to stay at home without some palliatives during lockdown.
He added that these requirements can be met with resources currently available, which should be deployed to the service but they need to be put at the service of the public in a transparent and professional manner.
“Policies that waste progress in some parts of the country and others which trample on the rights of vulnerable groups must be discouraged,” he said.
He urged states to adopt policies that suit their peculiarities
“But the nation as a whole must agree on, and implement basic policies that protect the entire population.”
Mr Abdullahi said the forum had acknowledged the assistance, in funds and equipment, from the international community, urging the government to put them to prompt and effective use.
“The forum similarly appreciates the tremendous assistance of Nigerian and corporate bodies in this fight.
“We hope that all governments will utilize the vast assets in expertise, goodwill and integrity available in the private sector and professional groups and individuals in the country, and involve them in all stages in the fight against this pandemic.”
“The forum appeals to all citizens to respect official directives in their own interest and exercise greater discipline in the manner they protect themselves and their families.”