It was the best of times

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair …, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way …” A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

This phrase points out a major conflict between family and love, hatred and oppression, good and evil, light and darkness, and wisdom and folly. Dickens begins this tale with a vision that human prosperity cannot be matched with human despair. He tells about a class war between the rich and the poor. He also tells of a time of despair and suffering on one hand, and joy and hope on the other. It tells about a time of chaos, conflicts, and despair, as well as happiness. It tells us about the time of extreme opposites without any in-betweens.

The current lockdown directive enacted in a few of our major cities with every other city gradually following suit and easing into a lockdown mode; curfews, ban of large gatherings etc. to contain the spread of the novel virus.

With the lockdown, we see an increase in the wave of civic unrest in our nation’s cities with Lagos and Ogun State being the major sufferers of this unrest. The nation as a whole is on a steady decline, in the production of goods and services/generation of revenue. The noticeable effect being the closure of businesses in major cities.

And the question on the lips of many is “when would the lockdown be over?”

In a few communities, the social distancing instruction has been cast aside as the pang of hunger hits harder. Even with the intervention of the president to ease the hunger struggle with the order that grains be distributed across communities in the Nation, we see a rising number of people coming out and seeking for aids from NGOs, private bodies and even the perceived affluent in their communities. 

Quoting the president in his address to the nation on the 12th of April, 2020 where he announced the extension of the lockdown period by 14 days, he said:

“In the past two weeks, we announced palliative measures such as food distribution, cash transfers and loan repayment waivers to ease the pains of our restrictive policies during this difficult time. These palliatives will be sustained.

“I have also directed that the current social register be expanded from 2.6 million households to 3.6 million households in the next two weeks. This means we will support an additional one million homes with our social investment programs. A technical committee is working on this and will submit a report to me by the end of this week.


But with over 9 million Nigerians living in poverty, the question remains, how long will it last?


But for the millions of hungry Nigerians stuck at home and not earning, this relief is not coming quickly enough, and there are fears that the country could soon be pushed to the brink of a battle of life against livelihood, CNN’s Stephanie Busari said in a report that captures the struggle of the common Nigerian during this global pandemic.

 

 

Nigerians are opining that the lockdown is lifted, even with the growing cases of COVID-19 infections. What would be our government’s response?



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