The House of Representatives Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for urgent practical steps to address the health crisis leading to mysterious deaths of Nigerians in Kano State.
The caucus, which said it was both concerned and displeased over the development, made the call in a statement signed by its leader, Rep. Kingsley Chinda from Rivers State, adding that the development was more worrisome because it is happening in the midst of the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic ravaging Nigeria and the world at large.
He said: “As a caucus, we join several well-meaning Nigerians to express our concerns over the health crisis in Kano State”
“The very recent reports of unprecedented death of scores of people within few days in Kano State should concern every responsible public officer”.
According to Chinda, though the cause of the deaths was yet to be ascertained, the efforts of the Kano State Government and more particularly that of the Federal Government through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 seem to have been largely lame, clueless and indeed devoid of any practical solutions.
He further noted that no concrete and genuine effort has been made to intervene, manage and or bring the situation under control.
The caucus, therefore, called for a full investigation into the circumstances to unravel the mystery.
While sympatising with the bereaved in Kano on behalf of the caucus, Chinda stated that the welfare of the people was the first primary responsibility of government.
“We are indeed deeply concerned and worried about this lacklustre stance of the Federal Government in solving and dealing with an important health issue such as this.
“Partisanship is off limit when it comes to matters affecting the lives of our citizens. This statement is therefore beyond politics.
“The spectacular failings on the part of managers of this pandemic, diminish us all as Nigerians regardless of our callings in life.
“We must but speak out, like others who have mustered the courage to speak out. Silence in the face of mass deaths of our citizens is nothing but a heinous crime.
“It is important to state that governance at all levels is a serious business, and meant for serious minded persons. We cannot continue to breach with impunity one of the most important provisions of our Constitution that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government’ as enshrined in Section 14 (2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)
“We cannot continue to condone the treatment of lives of Nigerians by an elected government as if it is reliable or a refillable material that can be exhausted without worries.
“The rights of Nigerians to the security of their lives and properties are inalienable and indeed the object, for the protection of which Government was instituted.
“Thus, the health and welfare of the people must remain paramount at all times and must never be compromised or treated with levity for any reason whatsoever, otherwise, it would amount to an abdication of responsibilities by government and the consequence is avoidable deaths in the society.
“We stand and commiserate with the residents and people of Kano State in this very critical and challenging times, especially those who lost their loved ones. We urge them to remain steadfast.
“Consequently, we hereby demand an urgent and thorough investigation and practical and affirmative steps by the Federal government into the circumstances surrounding the disturbing mass death in Kano State, with a view to finding lasting solutions to the problem.
“Every State in Nigeria should have at least a testing centre without further stories.”
It would be recalled that scores of deaths have been reported in Kano lately, forcing President Muhammadu Buhari to order a total lockdown of the state with immediate effect in his speech on Monday night.
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