By Efe Igbinovia
The government of Governor Godwin Obaseki has been somewhat silent in the fight against COVID-19. This perhaps might be due, in part to the fact that he has been self isolating. However, this does not excuse their lackluster approach to COVID-19 in Edo state as government is not a one man show.Government doesn’t need to grind to a halt because the governor is self isolating. This to me has revealed the inadequacies in the governance style of the governor. One would have expected to see a detailed plan in tackling the pandemic as the cases in Edo state was rising, particularly when the Deputy governor, the Secretary to the Government, the Chief of Staff, the Health and Information commissioners were not on self isolation. Unfortunately, the government was asleep in a very critical time.The governor eventually woke up from his slumber yesterday to address Edo people and like someone still sleeping, made a terrible mistake with the ” no face mask, no outing” order. There is no where in the world such order has been given. People are only advised to wear face mask, gloves and use hand sanitizers regularly.All these steps are at best precautionary. No government has ordered its citizens not to come out at all if you don’t have them. Particularly, as he said in his speech that he has mandated relevant agencies to to partner with tailors in Edo state to mass produce re-usable face mask for citizens to buy at affordable prices. The big question then is; if these re-usable and affordable face masks aren’t yet available, where then does he expect everyone in the state to have face masks when going out? It was an insensitive statement from the governor. One that shows he is not abreast on information regarding the pandemic.The only resurgence Godwin Obaseki got for from his speech is perhaps his insistence not to order a total shutdown in the state. It was a bold and courageous move. A total shutdown would have been a catastrophe in a state with subsistence economy where people daily eke out a living. However, we must now urgently take a cue from countries like Sweden and Denmark who inspite of their no shutdown policy are flattening the curve.Whatever they are they doing differently that is working, we need to urgently start implementing them in Edo state because it is not only enough not to shutdown, we must do what is necessary to prevent the spread.Finally, In spite of the doom and gloom that pervades our world today, we mustn’t forget that we are in a season of resurrection and as we continue to follow healthy instructions from the official channels of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC as well as the Ministry of Health, there will be resurrection of our normal way of living again. Happy Easter Celebration!