By Eric Elezuo
Veteran journalist, Chief Dele Momodu, has come down hard on the Federal Government of Nigeria for its decision to shut down two of its international Airports; the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja over the increasing spread of Coronavirus in the country.
Momodu lambasted the government, saying that once again, the consequence of their lack of preparation and coordination has manifested. He queried the rationale behind caging someone in a place for a whole month like ‘orphans’.
He also raised concerns about the fate of Nigerians abroad and what happens to them when their finances run out or if the government was expecting them to abandon whatever they are doing and run back to the country.
Momodu, who made these remarks in a statement he personally signed, therefore called on the government to find ways of reducing the pains of the people, and make same public as soon as possible.
Below is the full text of Dele Momodu’s statement:
“As always with us in Nigeria, we have once again seen the result of lack of preparation and coordination with the ill-informed and unnecessary decision to paralyse an entire nation and shut out all its citizens like orphans!
“I would have expected our leaders to give us comprehensive details of their plans instead of terse instructions.
“What’s the purpose of saying no Nigerian can travel in or out of Nigeria from Monday for one month? So all Nigerians currently abroad who are not residing in those countries will suddenly become destitute when their finances run out. They must all abort their trips and return by tomorrow. And those foreigners already in Nigeria, plus investors or workers on temporary visits will be imprisoned here for one month.
“Who bears the costs? What about the thousands of jobs? Who will pay them or feed their families? We can do much better by making life easier for our people in these difficult times instead of complicating their lives and giving them mental anguish. Even in more advanced countries, there is always a method to madness.
“The closures are meticulously controlled and palliatives offered as incentives. All we are seeing here is so bizarre. Different Ministers issuing different directives without explaining how the people would not be made to suffer. As always, it is the poor that will bear the brunt of this total closure!!!
“Government should find ways of reducing the pains and this should be made public as soon as possible…
Recall that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government on Saturday ordered the closure of Abuja and Lagos Airports as 10 more persons were confirmed positive for Coronavirus, bringing the total number to Nigeria cases to 22.