Coronavirus: It's risky, irresponsible to relax COVID-19 lockdown now - Sheikh Gumi warns Buhari
- Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has kicked against easing of COVID-19 lockdown in Nigeria
- President Buhari had on Monday, April 27, relaxed the lockdown and ordered some civil servants to resume work on Monday, May 4
- Gumi, however, said that the federal government's failure to provide for people's needs led to pressure from Nigerians
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As coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in Nigeria, a famous Islamic cleric and northern leader, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has berated the federal government for the easing of lockdown in the country.
In an interview with New Telegraph, Sheikh Gumi said that President Muhammadu Buhari only yielded to pressure in ordering a gradual opening up of the country.
Legit.ng gathered that the foremost northern leader also described the handling of the coronavirus pandemic by the federal government as not good enough.
He said the government is just running away from its responsibility, adding that people are locked down in hunger and that the government is not ready to spend on the palliatives.
The government said the best thing to do is to release people "but this is a suicide, it is suicidal, it is suicidal and I’m very sorry to say it is irresponsible."
Sheikh Gumi noted that President Buhari is opening up the country just because of hunger, saying it is because of pressure from the people when the government has already failed the people.
He said: "Yes, it is because of pressure and hunger, that is it. If not it is not right to do that. Even in China where they have controlled opening, like the schools they made every child come with a mask, there was serious testing and taking of people’s temperature before coming into the school.
"Can we afford to do that here? We cannot. And what we are afraid of is if there is community transmission, meaning that it is not only the man to man contact, but it comes into the community and it becomes endemic; then it is going to be seriously fatal and we pray it does not happen."
Speaking on how the government could implement the lockdown and share palliatives, the northern leader said the government must be told the truth on the implications of the pandemic.
"This is a pandemic now, we need to tell the government the truth, even though many people don’t understand what we are dealing with, it took almost two years for the Spanish flu to wane away, two years. People think this is a joke. This is not a joke. Also, this thing has waves, first, second and third waves.
"Usually, people die more during the second wave and we have not gone into the chapter really, it has a prefix, a chapter and the conclusion. So it is a very serious issue. So what I advise is for the government to seriously import food especially fruits.
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"Because a population which is sick, which is undernourished can easily be ravaged by this disease and in Nigeria, only God knows the mortality of the case because many people are hiding it, people are hiding this disease and we are not testing enough, contact tracing is almost zero," he said.
He said it was painful that many people were just going about their business and spreading the disease, adding that people were just dying especially in Kano.
"We can see a week after multiple deaths, extraordinary deaths and no tentative diagnosis is coming out. People that died, we were told they died from acute fever and acute suffocation, breathing problem, these are the symptoms of COVID-19. In a short period of five days, somebody is dead," he added.
Gumi also noted that what people were thinking was that the Kano situation might even be a more severe form of COVI-19 because "we know a man whose wife died recently and her symptoms just started in five days and she was down, a very strong lady.
"In five days and the symptoms are high fever, gasping for oxygen and in five days she was dead. She did not respond to any treatment. This is typical COVID-19, so what the government is trying to do is to cover its own deficiency or whatever it is, but the truth is coming out slowly, though sadly and painfully."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the federal government said the gradual easing of restrictions on activities and movements should not be mistaken to mean life has returned to normal in the country.
It was reported that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the coronavirus pandemic, Boss Mustapha, gave the warning on Thursday, April 30, during the daily press briefing by the task force in Abuja.
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