The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is the most serious global health security threat in decades. Our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the outbreak, and we are deeply grateful to the thousands of healthcare workers who are on the front lines helping their communities to survive the scourge of the virus.
Since the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control announced the first case of coronavirus in Nigeria, Abia State government led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has continued to take proactive steps to prevent the risk and spread of the deadly virus in the state. This includes distribution and sharing of face masks and hand sanitizers at no cost to residents of the state.
As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the world and States in Nigeria. We applaud the various proactively taken measures by Abia State Government , such as issuing stay at home orders, and shutting down non-essential markets and other places of mass gatherings, while also giving guidelines for social distancing.
However, we must accept the fact that much of the Abians have a subsistence existence. A large percentage of our people do not have the financial capacity to withstand long periods of self-isolation and even lockdown. It is therefore, incumbent on the state governments to provide palliatives to the Abia people to enable them to survive, even as they abide by these necessary measures put in place for their safety.
One of the Measures to be taken by the Governor as the Chief security officer of the State is to commit His security votes and Monthly salaries to the Welfare of Abians who will be facing untold Hardship within the period of Self isolation and Social Distancing.
Abia State with a Population of 2,8 Million people 80% of the population are in the informal Sector and depend on daily income to make a living. So the closure of Schools,Market and other Economic Activities occasioned by the Spread of Coronavirus will affect livelihood and which will be life threatening.
As for the Civil Servants in the State we Urge Abia State Government to Ensure as the Month come to an End to Offset backlog of Salaries and Pensions owned to Abia Workers which will be back up for the workers as they commences self isolation and social distancing
Abia state Government has to plan on ground to ensure the coronovirus doesn’t get to the state. This require an extra ordinary scaling of the capacity of the Health workers and functional Healthcare centres across the LGAs, engage the services of the private sector,civil society organizations and other Religious bodies to work together to ensure that testing take place, preventive humanitarian response is coordinated and measures across the board are ramped up to ensure Abia State is safe and Healthy.
We make this call to Action and we demand that Attention is paid to the payment of salaries and pension and taking care of the vulnerable groups in our state, while urgent measures have to be taken to ensure that the funds to be released by the Government from the security votes will be distributed to Abians using the designated Commercial Banks after the BVN verification and this could be a source of survival of the persons who could be easily threatened badly by the administrative lockdowns.
Abia civil society coalition Against (ACSCA COVID-19)
1. Foundation for Environmental Rights,Advocacy & Development(FENRAD)
2. Society For Economic Rights & Social Justice (SERSJ)
3. Initiative For Women Empowerement & Development(IWED)
4. Initiative For care ans support to the less Privaleged (ICASULP)
5. Health & Rural Development Agenda (HARDA)
6. Divine Guidance Education servives
7. People living Healthy and Environment friendly initiative (PLEFI)
8. Path to Growth Entrepuership Centre
9. Congress of Civil Society organization, Abia State
10. Abia State Pro Democracy & Human Rights Activist
And Many others.