HURIWA tackles Buhari over poor response to coronavirus outbreak

March 17, 2020
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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, on Tuesday described as “mass suicidal” tendency of the federal government’s deliberate failure to take concrete actions to “stave off and contain the spread” of the coronavirus in the country.

In a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, the prominent civil rights advocacy group urged civil rights bodies and Nigerians of means to institute a fundamental rights enforcement processes against the Federal government at the Federal High Court to obtain declaratory orders mandating “Buhari to personally address the nation, close the land borders and impose strict travel bans” for people coming in from jurisdictions with unprecedented cases of the new pandemic.

The group lamented the lack of political will power and the right leadership at both national and subnational levels in Nigeria to mobilize Nigerians and enlighten them along the lines of what they are supposed to do in the current severe medical emergency created by the emergence of COVID-19.

“We totally condemn the poor attitudes of the federal government; President Muhammadu Buhari particularly and the painful nonchalant tendencies of virtually all the key federal and state governmental officials who are behaving as if they are paid to allow the coronavirus to become widespread in the country before any concrete measures can be adopted.

“Why will the federal government insist on allowing all kinds of travels into Nigeria even from nations whereby the unfortunate pandemic is more widespread? Why take such insensitive, reckless and irrational step when even developed societies with the best of technologies and medical facilities in Europe, America, and Australia have imposed one type of restrictions on travels or the other? This is outrageous and out rightly despicable.

“As a matter of fact, it is a manifestation of a lack of leadership that till now, the current president has not thought it wise to personally address Nigeria. This is scandalous. Nations like Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Ghana, and Senegal amongst others have had their presidents actively take the driving seats in the fight against coronavirus but in Nigeria it is as if we are political orphans. Nigerian President may have to be compelled by court orders to speak to Nigerians.”

This is coming at a time when the Senate had called for a travel ban on high-risk countries such as China, United Kingdom the United States and others.

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