Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control NCDC, has said that easing the lockdown in Ogun, Abuja and Lagos state despite the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, wasn’t a mistake.
Ihekweazu said this when he appeared on TVC on Tuesday morning. The DG was asked if he thinks the easing of the lockdown was a mistake going by what happened yesterday where many people thronged banks and other public places, flouting all the precautionary guidelines against COVID19.
In his response, he said
”On our side, we don’t think there was a mistake. We knew at some point this day had to come but we really expected Nigerians and cooperate Nigeria to take a little bit more responsibility for what happened yesterday.
There is only little government can do. We can issue lockdown, we can bring out the police but we rely on the common sense of most Nigerians, we rely on cooperate Nigeria taking responsibility.
This is not being done for NCDC nor for the Federal government or the state government. It is being done do us.
So we really are counting. Lets take yesterday as an exception. Lets see what happens today. Let us see how many cooperates will come out of their offices and organize the queues in front of their offices. Let’s see how many cooperates will organize their office spaces and actually put out their hand washings and educate their staff on the changes that they need to do for themselves. This is not being done for us. This is being done for you. So all of us have to take responsibility”. he said
Ihekweazu hinted that some state governors have been unsupportive of the fight against the pandemic.
When asked why a lockdown hasn’t been enforced in some states such as Sokoto state where confirmed cases and deaths of COVID19 have been in the increase, Ihekweazu said everyone should remember that Nigeria is a Federal republic and that the Federal government and NCDC dont have any enforcement powers. He applauded some state governors for being proactive and cooperative as the fight against the virus continues and implored others to do same.