Open Letter to the Executive Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki

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Your Excellency,

I want to specially thank you for the efforts made and the approach that you and your team have so far adopted to attempt curbing the spread of the novel corona virus pandemic in Edo state and to combat its harsh economic effects on the good people of the state.

You have actively led from the fore front and promptly taken measures such as signing the Edo State Incident Action Plan (IAP) for COVID-19, building of a state of the art isolation centre, imposing dusk to dawn curfew, enlightening the public about the need to stay safe and enforcing social distance in the relocated markets across the state capital to mention a few.

However, reports have continued to emerge from indignant traders who have repeatedly expressed their displeasures about the difficulties they experience in transporting their wares from the stalls in the market to the makeshift markets scattered across various public primary and secondary schools in Benin City. Most of these traders are exposed to thermal radiation from the sun occasioned by the makeshift markets devoid of any roof over their heads leading to increased level of stress that could potentially endanger the health of our food traders.

Whilst the safety of the lives and properties of the good people of Edo state remains a top priority of every sincere government thus putting you in a difficult position in marrying the protection of lives with that of livelihoods at the same time, I urge you to strongly consider relocating the markets back to their previous locations in the interest of the traders particularly the women, while making alternative arrangements to ensure social distancing, use of nose masks and constant washing of hands.

I also plead with you to consider exploring the possibility of herbal treatment and cure as an alternative medical solution in the treatment of already confirmed cases as the efficacy of our locally produced herbal portions (agbo) have overtime been proven. The claims of our trado-medical practitioners should be looked into and employed (if found effective) in the fight against COVID-19.

Lastly, I want to humbly request that you quieten the increasing voices of irate Edolites and “naysayers” who have continued to doubt the accuracy of the state COVID-19 statistics by employing a more transparent means of communicating the current situation of the novel corona virus pandemic in the state. Perhaps, on the permission of the patients, the press could be granted access to both infected and discharged cases of the COVID-19 pandemic and make public their findings as we have continued to see in Europe and America.

As an innovative 21st Century Governor, I look forward to an immediate response to the issues raised and suggestions made. The fight against this deadly virus can be won in the shortest possible time if we all join hands together and sincerely fight against it.

I urge you to continue the good work sir. Do #StaySafe our dear Governor.

Very warm regards,

_Eke Donalben Onome writes from Benin City._