Last Monday, work resumed fully in Anambra State after the Government of Chief Willie Obiano lifted the restrictions on movement and worship in the state. The previous day masses and services were held in churches which witnessed a new lease of life after almost five weeks.
Obiano’s decision to lift restrictions followed the zero status of the state on the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world. The only index case in the state had twice been declared negative after quarantine; while all those who had associated with him also tested negative.
Before the lifting of the restrictions, virtually all segments of society had shut down, ranging from schools, markets, churches and private businesses, among others. It was a development that ground all activities in the state to a painful halt.
As the lockdown lasted, people became increasingly frustrated and even desperate, with pockets of unrest reported in a few places. But Obiano had shown a leadership with a human face from Day One by the way he managed things in the period under review.
While other states were rigid in the implementation of the restrictions, Obiano, mindful of the great toll they had on people, kept relaxing and imposing the restrictions as the case demanded. That flexibility depicted him as a leader with a human face.
We hail him for his disposition to the plight of the people and response to the COVID-19 situation.
Now that life is beginning to return to normalcy, it behooves the populace to return the favour by observing the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) guidelines on good health practices such as wearing of face masks, washing of hands and observance of social distancing.
This is not the time to shout hurray, believing that the worst is over. The coronavirus pandemic is still raging and has not even reached its climax in Nigeria. The situations in Lagos, Ogun, and now, Kano, show that Nigeria is still sitting on a keg of gun powder.
Therefore the first line of defence against the virus is to be formed by the individual.
If every individual does their part, the spread of the virus will be minimized; the borders will remain sealed and the curfew which has been ordered will be strictly observed.
The human factor is very important in the war against COVID-19. It is the failure of discipline that makes the security officials at the borders to take money from people and allow them passage. It is the lack of discipline that makes keke, shuttle and bus drivers to load more passengers than required. It is also the same factor that makes passengers not complain when they board over loaded vehicles.
Having come this far, care should be taken not to defeat the purpose for which the lockdown was lifted. The war is far from over.