Former Presidential aspirant and convener of the #YesWeFit revolutionary movement, Dr Thomas-Wilson Ikubese has objected to the latest market closure order by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state.
Ikubese in an open letter to the governor opined that hunger is more dangerous to the people and residents of Ondo state than COVID-19.
Below is the letter as mailed to Nigerian cable news online Unedited:
ONDO STATE SECRETARIAT
Dear Mr Governor, (Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN)
LEST WE DIE OF HUNGER-VIRUS, FASTER THAN COVID-19!!!
Permit me Your Excellency, to congratulate you on the prompt and far reaching measures you’ve taken thus far in keeping the Covid-19 virus out of our dear Sunshine State.
A few minutes ago, I came across the release signed by the Honourable Commissioner of Information, that effective from tomorrow Tuesday 31st March 2020, all shops (irrespective of what they sell) shall be closed in Ondo State!
While I’m an advocate of lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus, even though we have no officially recorded case in the state as at today, I’d envisaged that shops that sell water, food, drugs and medical consumables will be spared as these items are necessary for our daily survival.
I was thus taken aback sore, when I read in the statement issued by the Honourable Commissioner today that because of poor compliance to the initial 7-day directive given six days ago that shops selling non-essential goods be shut, ALL SHOPS will now be closed till further notice, irrespective of whatever item they sell.
I appeal to you, Your Excellency, that you use your good office to revert this position in the interest of the masses, so that while we seek to protect the populace from the virulent Covid-19 virus, they will not die of a much lethal HUNGER-VIRUS!
I thus humbly appeal on behalf of the masses of Ondo State, that while shops selling non-essential goods are closed, those selling life-saving and sustaining items like food, water and medicals be allowed to operate.
It will also be greatly appreciated, Your Excellency, if a palliative measure is put in place to cushion the effect of this lockdown on the Ondo State populace.
To this effect, without prejudice to how Your Excellency will choose to go about it, I suggest that an account be opened promptly in any of the commercial banks and the account details made available to members of the public, so that free-will donations can be made by corporate organisations, foundations and individuals therein, while the funds thus generated be disbursed to aid a significant segment of the populace in the fight against this deadly virus.
I also appeal to you, Your Excellency, that private hospitals which by statistics take care of about 70% of the populace be not left out of this arrangement, as they will greatly benefit from free distribution of gloves, face masks, sanitizers, soaps and personal protection equipments so that they can confidently contribute their invaluable quota to winning this war
I thank you in anticipation of your prompt action.
Dr Thomas-Wilson Ikubese
Convener, YesWeFit Movement
30th March, 2020