Renowned human rights activist, Mr. Oghenejabor Ikimi has said there should be “palliatives” if there must be total shutdown of land borders, sea ports, markets, shops and others in Delta State as the Country battles with the Coronavirus which is currently plaguing the world.
The legal practitioner made the assertion in an interview with DAILY POST correspondent in Warri.
Ikimi, who is also the Executive Director of the Centre for the Vulnerable and Underprivileged, CENTREP said, “I don’t agree in totality with the shutdown. If there must be shutdown, there must be palliatives.
“You give people money because they don’t go to work again. In our Courts now, level 1-12 don’t go to work. If you say they should not go to work, are you not going to give them money?”
Ikimi said people would die of hunger instead of the Coronavirus.
According to him, “With the way we are implementing it (lockdown) here, all I see is that a lot of people will die of hunger.
“If you shutdown the land borders, sea ports, markets without any palliatives, without any alternative measures for the provision of food and essential services for the people, the people will die of hunger.
“You’re trying to protect people from dying from the virus, but you’re pushing the people to go and die of hunger.
“The Countries where we are copying all this lockdown from, made provisions for their people. They made palliatives, made essential provisions for them.
“Even, they go as far as giving money to people. But here we are just copy, copy. We are copy-cats.
“Look at governors shutting down land borders. Does he have the powers to do that? A governor does not have the powers to do that. Shutting down borders, airports and maybe, sea ports. No governor in Nigeria has the power to do that.
“We are copying this shutdown from other Countries but what they’re doing is that when they shutdown, they give money to their citizens because they don’t go to work and they make available foods and other essential services for them.
“But in our own Country, the State Governors will shutdown everywhere, shutdown markets.
” Shutting down everywhere when you don’t give the people money, where do they go to eat? With what do they go to the market to buy things?
“They’re saying people should go and buy foodstuff, did you give them money to go and buy food stuff?
“The core issue is, we are fighting a Virus. We want to prevent it. But we are adding another dimension to it now that we want to starve people to death. A lot of people will die of hunger.
“If people start dying now, you will discover that it’s not even the virus we are fighting that is causing it. It is hunger that is killing them.”