As Covid-19 continues to spread like wildfire, a two time former Commissioner of Information, Kogi state Dr. Tom Ohikere has faulted the NCDC for their ineptitude to curtail the spread of the dreadful Covid-19 virus despite the resources at their disposal.
“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) saddled with the responsibility of managing infectious diseases has not been doing enough to curtail COVID-19 despite availability of funds and other resources at their disposal. NCDC, rather than focus on their core mandate has been playing to the gallery and even chasing shadows when they’re supposed to face the curtailment efforts squarely”.
He said the NCDC Director General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu has been failing in his responsibilities as Chief Incident Commander in Nigeria, adding that the sporadic spread of COVID-19 in Kano was due to the slow response to SOS by families of suspected COVID-19 patients. For instance, it took efforts of prominent personalities and popular radio stations in Kano before NCDC swung into action after a viral audio message by a woman who lost her son-in-law to COVID-19. On Friday, the son of a 57 year old suspected COVID-19 patient in Kano said NCDC had taken his father’s sample for about a week and yet to confirm his status despite several calls.
Ohikere said such under-performance of NCDC at this critical period when humanity is under threat, is unpatriotic. Many Nigerians complained about NCDC’s negligence such as the inability to reach their hot lines, sometimes picking patients without oxygen, slow response time, abandonment of patients, ignoring SOS from citizens and other issues which escalated COVID-19 spread. In Lagos, a 60 year old lawyer died with COVID-19 complications after NCDC abandoned him in his residence, thus making the family members also vulnerable to the deadly virus.
He however commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his proactive steps taken to curtail the spread of the noble coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria. The Presidential Taskforce headed by Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha has been briefing Nigerians daily about the ongoing efforts to curtail the deadly virus while state governors have deployed scarce resources to set-up isolation centres, Intensive Care Units (ICU), procured PPEs and other medical equipment to manage the pandemic in their respective states.
” these moves are commendable as no country in the world, including developed nations such as United States, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom were cut off guard by COVID-19″.
And urged the NCDC to be purpose driven and focus on its core mandate and safe Nigerians from this dreadful pandemic as it’s becoming clear that NCDC DG is enjoying his agency’s peak period while many Nigerians are being exposed to COVID-19 due to their negligence. His actions and inactions are inimical to national strategy to tackle COVID-19. President Muhammadu Buhari and Anti-graft agencies should be on alert on alleged financial misappropriation in NCDC amidst this pandemic.