How did we manage to vote so many incompetent callous people into places of political power. Across the three arms of government, from the executive, judiciary and legislature, the Coronavirus epidemic is proving the Nigerian political elite is callous and heartless, even to themselves. Yesterday it was announced that the Chief of Staff Mallam Abba Kyari had tested positive for the dreaded Coronavirus. He had visited Germany, one of the countries affected by the virus to conclude on a partnership between German energy giant Siemens and the country. On his return, he had ignored WHO recommendations for people returning from affected countries to self-isolate and check their symptoms and continued to attend public functions where he interacted with many of the country’s most powerful government officials and private big wigs.
Aso Rock says officially that the president has tested negative for the virus. Not everyone believes this though. The executive’s duplicity during the President’s first term and its refusal to this day to inform the country of the illness that necessitated months of treatment in the United Kingdom has severely dented its reputation and the trust Nigerians have in official statements from the government. One Nigerian senator has died from the Coronavirus, as well as a high ranking public servant. The vice-president has gone into self-isolation and the Bauchi state governor has tested positive for the virus.
They paid a solidarity visit to Buhari chief of staff, Abba Kyari who tested positive for #COVID19 earlier today in Aso Rock #COVID19NIGERIA #staysafe #CoronavirusLockdown #AMVCA2020 pic.twitter.com/IICXzj8HDO
— 𝓓𝓻 𝓔𝓵 𝓜𝓸 𝓐𝓽𝓲𝓴𝓾 𝓐𝓫𝓾𝓫𝓪𝓴𝓪𝓻 (@DRElMo_ATIKU) March 24, 2020
What do other Nigerian politicians do in light of Abba Kyari’s diagnosis. They troop in their numbers to perform a ‘solidarity visit’ to his office, essentially exposing themselves voluntarily to the virus as there are no reports that his office had been properly disinfected.
— TheCable (@thecableng) March 24, 2020
Elsewhere, a Nigerian politician took off his face mask during a senate plenary session to sneeze into the air, deliberating ignoring established protocol on how to handle bodily fluids during the Coronavirus. His fellow legislators, instead of reprimanding the man, laughed at his thoughtless actions.
With governors like Abia’s Ikpeazu informing citizens the Covid-19 virus cannot enter his state because Abia is ‘mentioned in the Bible’, one can’t help but wonder if any of our politicians are taking the recommendations they should be enforcing on their constituents seriously. One also cannot help but wonder if Nigeria will be the first country to see the Coronavirus epidemic significantly affect its political elite.