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May 11, 20204min980
Nigeria: Group berates country’s government over poor handling of coronavirus 
UK-based group, Global Peace Movement International, has berated the Nigerian Government for its poor handling of the coronavirus in Africa’s biggest economy.
The group scored the Presidential TaskForce on COVID-19 very low, on grassroot enlightenment and sensitisation campaigns nationwide on the current war against the pandemic in the country.
The group made known their position on Monday in a Press Statement signed by the organisation’s President General and Director of National Affairs, Dr Mike Uyi and Sam Okereke respectively, and presented to the media in Abuja by the Abuja Coordinator, Joseph Ezejiegu.
The group argued that various individuals and groups including the organisation, had through many media questioned why an agency of the Federal Ministry of Information, Culture and Torism, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) was not in forefront of the grassroot crusade, even as efforts to reach the Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has yielded no positive results.
This therefore, according to the organisation is casting serious doubt on the government to properly manage the pandemic, bearing in mind that grassroot sensitisation and enlightenment campaigns were key factors in the eradication process.
According to the group, sensitization was very crucial “owing to high apathy of the average Nigerian to the scourge, saying it was an afliction of the elites, international travellers and elites. While some others still do not believe in virus, alleging it was a ploy by the government to loot public treasury.”
The statement clarified that “When the organisation questioned the Director General of National Orientation Agency, NOA, Dr Garba Abari, why the agency was not playing the cardinal role of conscientising the grassroot, he revealed that the agency was grossly under funded to be able to muster such responsibility.
“The question then is why such an agency with nationwide grassroot structure has not been mobilised to lead the crusade?
The group said it believed very strongly that if the NOA had begun an aggressive and grassroot campaign nationwide, “in collaboration with Nigerian artists, brand ambassadors, sports personalities, traditional and religious leaders,  involving the persons who have survived the virus and even going as far as showing burial scenes and grieving families and relatives of those killed by the virus, Nigerians on their own will understand the thinking behind policy guidelines of NCDC, thereby reducing the surge of the violations, which was currently the order of the day.”
The group noted that time was long gone but never entirely spent for the NOA to be drafted in so include play a crucial role in this regard.

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