THIS CORONAVIRUS MUST NOT SPREAD BEYOND CONTROL.
Compliance to total lock down in many parts of Nigeria has been difficult to achieve, simply because many Nigerians don’t have homes to stay and the resources to survive it are not there.
No thanks to the fact that the residential arrangements and situation of many parts of the Nigerian environments, cannot smoothly encourage people to stay locked down at home completely without disobedience, resistance and possible eventual chaos to the order of the government.
Where most people live are mere houses, but they can’t be called homes.
I have a home and optimal resources to survive it and that is why it has been easy for me to stay inside to obey the containment measures of the government.
What about those who do not have?!
Or can we call a small room in a face me and I face you or stupid house, where a family of 8 live, a home?!
Examples of how people live in slums, shanties and inhuman places abound like that around Nigeria.
Many families live in places, where there are no spaces of an ideal homes to obey the lock down measures.
No home; no privacy; no stable electricity; no money; no water; no assuring security; no enough food; no comfortable space; no adequate ventilation, unless they go out of their homes to get it; no smart phones, and if some have, no money to buy data to do things that can keep them busy on it et cetera.
Some families are not even sleeping around this time at all, because there is no light where they live and for the fear of the invasion of the 1 million boys.
That is the realistic reasons it has been difficult for people to stay at home.
Even for those of us, who have homes, we still walk out in our estates environments to do stretch out excercises and to enjoy the comforts of the ambiance of our enviriments to kill boredomess, not to talk of those who do not have those kinds of environments to run it.
Nobody loves to be infected by the disease that would keep them by force in solitary confinements in pains for many weeks in the hands of the government isolation centres. Nobody loves to experience excruciating afflictions.
Nobody loves to be sick or eventually die!
Everybody loves to secure his life. Everybody loves to stay safe and secured, but when there is no comfortable place they could stay, then they would consciously or unconsciously dare the affliction and keep praying or hoping it does not come to them by the power of God or the pronouncements of their religious leaders.
If you go out there, you would see that compliance to the lock down order is only working well in areas, where comfortable people live, but not in the areas I have described above.
It is not their faults. Many in that situations are also afraid of the disease, but they can’t help it. The accommodation situation is just too unbearable and bad for them to survive it.
Even if the government could reach everybody with the food relieve packages and money, can the government urgently put everybody in comfortable homes to stay for the lock down period to be over?!
People in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Osborne, Banana Island, Lekki, Ikeja GRA, Maryland estate; MKO Abiola Gardens, Magodo and many other well planned and organised residential areas in Lagos State might be able to stay completely at home for many weeks to observe it, but can those who live in those badly planned and situated communities afford it?!
Go to some areas like Oshodi, Mushin, Ajegunle, Isale Eko, Agege, Okokomaiko, Ebute Metta, Bariga, Ikorodu, Ajangbadi, Ijora Olopa, Ijegun, Coker Aguda, Alagbole and co., can they afford to stay put permanently at home or in their houses without the scourge of the residential situation driving them back outside?!
That is the main problem with this lock down situation.
Honestly, this is a lesson to all our towns planning authorities and the various ministries of housing and urban developments in Nigeria.
And the lesson is, you don’t keep giving some citizens good and well planned residential environments, while you leave others to the fate of the ‘omo oniles’ alone to decide how and where they live.
We are all citizens of Nigeria and we all deserve the luxuries of good, appreciable and optimal residential life.
Nigeria shouldn’t continue to be a country, where some people live like normal human beings and others are left to live like refugees or forsaken people, when they are not victims of war or conditional poverty.
We all deserve to live well.
Lock down measures have been working in some countries, simply because their governments plan where their citizens live and give them good homes in humane residential environments.
I have been to the US and the UK. I have been to South Africa, Germany, Canada, Dublin and some other ideal countries around the world. I have seen how people live in those places. The gaps between the rich and the poor in those countries are not so much, and they still come with appreciable residential arrangements and environments for everybody.
But in Nigeria, the rich and the comfortables have good places they built for themselves, while they abandon the common Nigerians to continue to live in stupid and anyhow places.
And now, the governments want people to stay at home to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. But, the question is: Where are the homes?
A home is a comfortable place, where people can stay to survive the lock down order, not just in anyhow houses.
A house is different from a home.
Even if people do not have enough economic resources to run it, but if they have comfortable homes, then they would be able to add or bear the comforts of their homes to obey the government order.
This piece is just to corroborate all I have written in the recent past to sound it for the umpteenth time into the consciousness of the Nigerian governments to know that they have not done well for Nigerians in terms leadership service to the generality of the people of Nigeria over time.
The gap between the rich and the poor in Nigeria are just too wide!
Now, the Coronavirus is here with us, and many other afflictions that have been ravaging the residential spaces of Nigeria, and it seems all entreaties are not working, because many of our people simply don’t have places they can call ideal homes to hide their heads.
The situation out there is bad. So bad that I pity a lot of Nigerian families around this perilous time.
This is not a war that can keep us outside, scampering for safety, but the ones that should keep us inside for the afflictions to be contained. But the fact is, how many Nigerians actually have homes they can stay comfortably without running outside to dare the deadly scourge?!
A lot of Nigerians simply also love to stay at home like the comfortables in our midst, but alas!, they simply do not have homes!”
But, above all, whether you have a home or not, this is about the safety of your own life, please, continue to go to; do what and stay where this afflictions will pass over you.
It is about you and not that of the government.
Try as much as possible not to be infected, because if it happens to you, you might not be lucky to come out of it alive.
However, if we allow the spread of the COVID-19 to go out of hands in our environments, it is still the ordinary Nigerians, who would suffer the calamity of the impacts the more.
The financially endowed Nigerians; the powerful and the people in governments, would always take care of their own situations.
However, in a society where the people are poor; their neighborhood environments don’t have adequate security and don’t have places they can call homes, to lock them down against any affliction for too long would always be a tough job to achieve.
They would always prefer stubbornly to be surviving outside to dare what is coming
– Olukayode Salako