By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Following the rising number of Coronavirus pandemic cases in Osun, a member of the House of Representatives from the State, Wole Oke has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the sum of N5 billion for the purchase of necessary equipment to fight the disease.
Osun State has at the last count recorded 22 cases which Oke who represents Obokun/ Oriade Federal Constituency of the State said was becoming frightening.
It will be recalled that Lagos State which recorded the index case and Nigeria’s epicentre of the virus had had the approval of N10 billion from the Federal Government.
The State incidentally belongs to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
In his reaction, Oke who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts and opposition member from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said the period was not a time to play politics but such that should bring all and sundry irrespective of political, religious and ethnic differences and unite as one force to combat the common enemy.
He, however, lauded the President and the National Assembly for emergency measures so far taken against the scourge, appealing for more.
“I am impressed and encouraged with the way and manner the Mr President and the National Assembly are managing the situation so far but more still needs to be done like in the case of Osun State, it is frightening and alarming with 22 reported cases down already as of today, we don’t know what is in offing.
“I think that at this stage, Mr President who is the Commander- in -Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should wade into the crisis at hand in Osun before it explodes and turns to a national embarrassment and calamity, mind you the dreaded coronavirus is no respecter of age, position, class or country
“Giving out like saying a sum of ₦5billion to the state in the first instance will go along way to address the situation on the ground, the Government will be able to procure the needed medical equipment and drugs, crate as many as possible isolation centres in all the local governments in the state and for other logistics
“Osun State government is not viable enough to be able to shoulder this enormous responsibility which was not in the budget, even the viable states like Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom Kano, Sokoto and others can not do it alone not talk of Osun State, an agrarian and civil service state”, Oke said in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
While commending the efforts of the state governor, Areoye Oyetola towards halting further spread of the microbe, Oke urged the people of the state not to panic but to observe all relevant directives and orders from the government and other relevant agencies against the disease.
He also urged traditional rulers, community and religious leaders to educate their people for them to come to reality with the existence of the disease and also obey all directives to defeat the pathogen as was the case of Ebola virus in 2014.