Lessons that Abba Kyari's death teaches… by Joe Okei-Odumakin (opinion)
Editor's note: Joe Okey-Odumakin, a globally respected rights activist is the president of the Centre for Change, wants Nigerians to learn some lessons looking at the death of Abba Kyari, the chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Kyari died on Friday, April 17, and was buried on Saturday, April 18.
Follow-up to the sad occurrence of the death of Alhaji Abba Kyari, who reportedly succumbed to Coronavirus on Friday and was buried in Abuja today, Saturday, this is one death that has poignantly brought home the reality of Coronavirus to all and sundry.
Coronavirus is real! Let doubters know this and believe and begin to take all preventive and curative measures as directed by the appropriate authorities.
Had Kyari not travelled to Germany and Egypt at the time he did, when the outbreak and spread of Coronavirus had become common knowledge, probably himself, his family, the government he represented and the country he served might not have come to this grief.
Was it the pull of national service that took the better part of him? The country will remember him for that!
Kyari's passing is a clarion call to other well-placed Nigerians who had been where they might have contracted the virus to come out of hiding and denial and submit themselves to testing and treatment before it is too late.
For anyone who had come into contact with any such personalities, it is also incumbent on them to quickly approach the relevant authorities with this very vital information.
Kyari is gone! May his soul rest in peace! Our task now is to safeguard those who are still living. This we can do by playing by the rules, regardless of whose ox is gored.
Social distancing is for all and no one is exempted, be they rich or poor, powerful or weak.
Government functionaries, in particular, should show good examples by observing the same rules made by them. Otherwise, they will lack the moral right to ask for compliance from the rest of society.
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Wearing the appropriate protective gadgets is also for everyone. Those in authorities must not be seen flouting this life-saving rule.
It is for their own individual good as well as for the good of all of us.
When videos in which such rules and regulations are blatantly flouted go viral - as surely they will in this age of social media - it becomes difficult to ask the ordinary man on the street to act differently.
"Do as I say but not as I do" will not help in our present dire circumstances.
We are not in George Orwell's"Animal Farm" where some animals are more equal than the other but we are in a democracy where all are equal before the law.
What is sauce for the goose, as they say, must also be sauce for the gander.
When you break your own rules, you must expect others to imitate you.
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When you make statements and later give exemptions to members of your own class of the powerful and mighty, expect that the people will see through your hypocrisy and doublespeak.
A word, as they say, is enough for the wise!
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