Nobody planned or envisaged that this year will turn out this way. Covid-19 found its way into Nigeria in February, 2020 and in the last six months, the country has been battling hard to control its spread.
The bid to control the spread prompted a couple of decisions from Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari such as the total lockdown of schools, churches, mosques, market places, work places etc in March this year.
This was commended as a step in the right direction especially with the setting up of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 which is headed by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary General of the Federation.
After over 8 weeks of complete lockdown, the President with the advice of the PTF on covid-19 embarked on the gradual easing/ lifting of the lockdown order. This was broken into phases of two weeks each with Work pace and markets opening first and later churches and mosques.
With this, people soon began resuming their normal routines and activities after several weeks of been indoors and at home. Subsequently, schools and students were aso given a thought and consideration.
The Ministry of Education, through its Minister, Adamu Adamu decided to initially allow students in preparing for final examinations to resume school. Students that fell into this category were Primary six pupils, Junior Secondary school three (JSS3) students and Senior secondary school three (SS3) Students preparing for Final school leaving certificate examination, Junior WAEC and WASSCE respectively.
However, with the continuous increase in the number of cases, the Federal government through the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu decided to reverse its earlier decision of allowing students in Primary 6, JSS3 and SS3 to resume and also suspend the participation of our students in WAE for 2020.
The minister said allowing students to resume in the midst of the pandemic was a huge risk and that it would be better for students to lose a year academically with the guarantee of their lives and safety. He further asked that news circulating around of a supposed resumption date of August 4th should be totally forgotten.
While this has drawn reactions from some quarters, it is certainly the Right and Best Decision.
The students in these categories are still very young and should not be endangered. The FG is therefore right to suspend their participation in WAEC till it is deemed safe enough for our children and Nigerians generally.
As at yesterday the 10th of July, 2020 Nigeria’s cases had risen to a total of 31,323. This clearly shows that the cases are still rising and Nigeria is also one of the top 5 countries with the highest number of cases now.
This daily increase in number of cases calls for serious concerns especially with people on the street, markets and everywhere. When president Buhari lifted the lockdown order, it was under conditions such as compulsory use of facemasks, regular hand washing, social distancing etc.
However, many Nigerians are going about their normal businesses without following the stipulated conditions.
Therefore, for Nigeria and President Buhari to totally and successfully end this pandemic in the country, the best thing is for the entire country to be placed on a total lockdown again.
I suggest that all avenues of mass gathering such as work places, markets, churches, mosques, schools etc should be totally closed for the remaining part of the year.
However, this will affect many Nigerians just as it did during the first lockdown. Therefore, President Buhari should also ensure that while everyone is at home, from now till December, Nigerians who have their Bank Verification Number (BVN) should receive/ be paid #50,000 monthly through the CBN.