Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo has warned Nigerians over the level of increases in the infection rate of the COVID-19 in the country, saying, “Nigerians not to mistake the lifting of restrictions on lockdown for the end of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He made this warning at the 2020 Annual Sobo Sowemimo Lecture at the Abeokuta Club in Abeokuta on Friday.
Former president, who was the guest lecturer at the event, spoke on “COVID-19 and Nigeria Security Issues: The Way Forward”.
He described COVID-19 as a disease that Nigeria in particular and Africa, in general, was ill-prepared and poorly equipped for.
The elder statesman commended the federal and the state governments for the efforts and measures they had taken to deal seriously with the virus.
“The idea of leaving the states to deal with the issue mainly at their level on the principle of subsidiarity was a good one.
“It allowed each state with its limited resources and facilities to gear itself up and to issue instructions and regulations on restrictions based on the reality of the state,” he said.
Obasanjo, however, warned that while the federal and various state governments had relaxed the restrictions, Nigerians should not think that the nation had survived the pandemic.
“Although restrictions are being lifted, we are not out of the woods yet,” Obasanjo said
He, therefore, stressed the need for continuous awareness and measures “to disabuse the minds of ordinary people who may still believe that COVID-19 is not real or that it is the disease of the rich”.
The elder statesman counseled that the virus might not disappear from the surface of the earth, but that it could only be rendered weak and feeble and preventable with a vaccine.
He further emphasized on six areas for quick attention for the sustenance of the nation in the post-COVID -19 periods.
They are food availability and security, employment, and job security, change in the pattern, and style of living including traveling and innovation, science, technology, digitalization, and artificial intelligence.
Others are local content, raw materials, and substitute as well as diversification of the economy and enhancement of export commodities.