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Covid 19: NUJ Warns Governors, Salutes Health Workers

By Ajibola Abayomi,

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has viewed with disappointment what it termed careless decisions and actions of some state governors relaxing the lockdown aimed at containing the Covid 19.

According to the National President of the Union, Chris Isiguzo the actions if not checked were capable of undermining the restrictions and social distancing directives put in place for overall public safety.

His words as contained in a statement reads thus: “Relaxing the lockdown order in some states for the commemoration of the Easter celebration was a dangerous gamble and the affected states are advised to avoid such errors in future. Governors of states where cases have been recorded but are still yet to order a lockdown are advised to do so as it remains better to err on the side of caution.

“The Union uses this opportunity to advise politicians from all political parties to stop forthwith from playing politics with a deadly global health challenge such as the coronavirus pandemic that constitutes a matter of life and death. Politicians are urged to watch closely and learn from what is happening all over the world, where politics has taken a back seat in all countries including the USA that has a general election this year.”

The NUJ President applauded some affluent Nigerians, religious organisations, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), development partners, the public and private sectors that had donated funds to support the covid-19 fight and calls on others within and outside the country to emulate the gesture.

He hailed what it has described as outstanding, courageous, excellence and professionalism so far demonstrated by Nigerian medical doctors, nurses, and health workers in managing the Coronavirus pandemic since the case was reported in the country.

While calling for more sustained palliatives for the poor and hungry in society, efficient distribution to all parts of the country, the Union appealed to all citizens to give their full cooperation to all lawful orders to curb the spread of this virus.

Isiguzo added that the NUJ was “indeed proud of what our home grown medical practitioners and health workers have achieved so far in the fight against this pandemic; in spite of poor facilities, hostile working environments and frustrating conditions of service.

“The Union notes that with very low mortality rate, increasing number of discharged persons and effective management of positive patients, our medical professionals have shown that they can compete favourably with the best in the world if given the opportunity and accorded the required recognition.

Isiguzo added that: “The obvious impact of this rampaging pandemic has made it more imperative for our hospitals to become more functional considering that everybody no matter how highly or lowly placed has now been circumstantially compelled to patronize our local hospitals.

The President commended NUJ members, health reporters and correspondents and the Nigerian media generally for the on-going aggressive campaign through various news and programs on the dangers of the virus.

“We also once more call on authorities and owners of media establishments to do everything possible to equip their reporters and provide palliatives for journalists across the country so as to reduce the risk faced at this critical time.

“For debtor media houses, the Union reiterates that it will not continue to stand idly while journalists who work round the clock are owed several months arrears of salaries. Since its strategic engagements appear not to be yielding results as expected, the Union in the coming weeks may be forced to resort to either picketing of such media houses or take legal actions” he said.







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