THE Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG) has expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the federal and state governments at containing the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
It, however, called on the authorities not to hesitate to declare a total lockdown and save the country from an “imminent calamity.”
The group noted that such a radical move had helped China to gradually weather the storm of COVID-19.
In a statement by its national coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, the MMWG noted the Federal Government’s effort, including the approval of fund to fight the disease, and described it as commendable.
It commended the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari and other traditional and religious leaders in the country who have taken necessary steps to complement government’s effort at preventing the spread of the disease.
The group, however, called on all religious leaders to continue to prevail on all their followers to shut all mosques and churches and let people worship in their homes.
It called on the police and other security agencies to enforce the ban on religious gatherings, saying any recalcitrant religious leader should be dealt with.
The group added: “MMWG believes that with all practical efforts made so far, we need to blend it with spiritual devotion. As we remain at home and wherever we are, we should pray hard to overcome the Coronavirus pandemic and other health issues soonest, by Allah’s grace.
“The sensitisation efforts through the media on prevention methods, dangers of ignoring the advocacy and implications of panic buying and use of Chroloquine and Quinine are all praiseworthy. However, federal and state governments need to do more.
“There is the need for effective and holistic monitoring and supervision of the utilisation of the money approved to combat the pandemic to avoid diversion to private pockets.
“Corruption in the Nigerian society is so endemic that when any devastating events occur, another opportunity for looting has opened for the corrupt ones in the government circles. How would that of Coronavirus be different so that we would be saved from the pandemic and be back to our normal lives?
“The Federal Government should flood the country with protective gears and sanitiser so that masses keeping indoors and restricting their own movements in line with its orders could benefit in their states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, as most people might not be solvent to procure the items.
“There is the need for more testing equipment to be urgently procured to speed up the number of screening exercises to avoid further spread of the disease in Nigeria.”