The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has created a humanitarian crisis and has also made governments at all levels to review their budgets in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus that has ravaged the global economy.
Before recording its first confirmed case, the Kwara state Government has swiftly swung into action by deploying personnel and requirements to curb the spread of the infectious disease to any part of the state. Parts of the measures were the setting up of the state Infectious Disease Control Centre at the Specialist Hospital, Sobi in October last year, now expanded to a 60-bed capacity and furnished with standard equipment to ensure COVID-19 patients are properly treated.
The state Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has been proactive in making sure that the virus doesn’t get to other parts of the state as he emphatically declared a lockdown on the state to avoid community spread.
The declaration of a lockdown has come with economic backlash as people stay back in their various homes, apparently surviving on little savings which is being depleted as the stay at home order continues with the need to source for more food overrides common sense.
Conscious of the economic impact of the lockdown on ordinary Kwarans, the Governor immediately constituted a palliative committee to oversee the distribution of food items to the poorest of the poor in the society to cushion the effects of the lockdown. This decision has helped many households across the state whose survival depends on their daily earnings.
AbdulRazaq has also ensured other isolation centres in the state are provided with state of the art facilities having revived the oxygen plant that has been dysfunctional for almost a decade, not forgetting that the Governor had earlier procured ventilators (10) for the first time in the history of the state’s creation. 53years!
Would all these have been possible in the state had the Governor chosen to enrich himself as the tradition was in the past?
All these wouldn’t have been possible if the Governor sells state government’s properties to self and cronies. Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has been a revelation especially during this period as he has yet again brought to bear his exemplary administrative experience and leadership qualities, leading the fight against the rampaging coronavirus from the front.
The state government has also set up a 600-bed capacity isolation center with all targeted at staying on top of the situation. The AbdulRazaq led administration also confirmed a few weeks ago that it is clearing land to set up a makeshift 100-bed isolation facility to be donated by Dangote Groups. A government in its mandate to safeguard the lives of its citizens cannot be more proactive than this in the face of economic uncertainties. AbdulRazaq is doing well and has exceeded expectations in less than a year after taking office.
And the Governor’s determination to stamp out the virus in the state and commitment to providing all needed manpower and resources for prompt response in the COVID-19 treatment has resulted in two cases returning negative in the past few days thereby reducing the number of active cases in Kwara.
The provision of isolation centres furnished with state of the art facilities has also helped health workers in the frontline of the fight against the virus which prompted members of the State Executive Cabinet; the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Raji Razak and his colleague, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Matters, Prof. Wale Suleiman joining the team of experts administering treatment to the patients. A paradigm shift by all standards.
It is worthy of note that Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq have achieved these remarkable feats without obtaining a single loan from anywhere since he assumed office in May 29, a clear departure from our ugly past. And one begins to wonder where the funding of the aforementioned projects is coming from despite the Governor being one of the first to always pay salaries, on or before 25th of every month with no record of owing salaries till date.
Those who stole the state’s common patrimony by under sponsoring the healthcare system will be left disappointed in the end as it is evident the state will come out of this trying times stronger under Governor AbdulRazaq.
Abubakar DanLami a public affairs analyst.
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