Popular Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi has criticized the decision of the federal government to relax the lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He opined that despite the pressure from Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari should have stood his ground in the greater interest of the country.
While acknowledging the economic hardship the lockdown might have had on Nigerians, Sheik Gumi noted that if the government were to be sincere in its palliatives to the citizens, the situation would have been better handled.
Naija News recalls President Buhari had during his nationwide broadcast to Nigerians on Monday, April 27, approved the conditional and gradual relaxation of the coronavirus lockdown as from May 4.
However, Gumi in his reaction during a chat with New Telegraph, said the government is just running away from responsibilities.
“The government is just running away from their responsibility. This is just the truth, people are locked down in hunger and the government is not ready to spend on the palliatives. So they are saying the best thing is let’s release you people; but this is suicide, it is suicidal, it is suicidal and I’m very sorry to say it is irresponsible.
“Yes, it is because of pressure and hunger, that is it. If not it is not right to do that. Even in China where they have controlled opening, like the schools they made every child to come with mask, there was serious testing and taking of people’s temperature before coming into the school. Can we afford to do that here? We cannot. And what we are afraid of is if there is community transmission, meaning that it is not only the man to man contact, but it comes into the community and it becomes endemic; then it is going to be seriously fatal and we pray it does not happen.” he said
Speaking further, the Islamic cleric said Nigerians are misbehaving due to ignorance while the government is also not doing enough to handle the situation.
He said: “Sincerely, I’m not comfortable and I don’t really know the word to use in describing what is happening, either in regards to the government or the people. But let me talk about the government because the government has seen what it should do although it is trying to derail now. Government is trying to derail because of pressure, but the Nigerian populace is something else too.
Gumi warned that easing the lockdown may have other negative effects due to the community transmission that may occur due to human interaction.
“People are behaving like a child you took to the hospital for injection and he is struggling and doing everything possible not to receive the injection. This is how Nigerians are behaving. You are trying to do what is good for them, but then they’re resisting. But also you cannot blame them, because they are hungry, left uneducated; they are not well informed, because even the clergy or the Mallams are not ready to explain to them the real situation of things. Even some of the rejections of the issues stemmed from what they heard from the clergymen, so I don’t really blame them. But the government is not doing enough”