I’m actually reminded Aghogho of that ironic quotation, you know, the one that says: “I’m their leader, so I must follow where they go.” Because if we’re honest, there doesn’t really seem to be any … anything behind the government’s decision to further ease the anti-Corona virus restrictions other than the reality, which is that people are voting with their feet! In short, it looks to an impartial observer as though the government is giving in to as much of what it thinks the people want, as it can, rather than because it’s convinced about the trajectory of the COVID-19 disease in Nigeria.
Now, when you look at the NCDC figures released yesterday they showed that they’ve tested 122,155 … or they’ve carried out that number of tests, but actually, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, in his press briefing yesterday that you referred to, he said that for every COVID-19 case, there are a handful of missing cases, because the health authorities aren’t able to test everybody. Now, to be frank Aghogho, I’d say that Mr. Aliyu is being a little bit conservative when he talks about only a “handful” … especially when he goes on to talk about “thousands of people”. So yes, it absolutely is the right time to ask whether we can rely on the Integrity of the official figures. And in fact, I’m sorry to say that the answer to that question, even from his own mouth, seems to be ‘No’.
Here in Lagos State, the relevant law is not called a Violence against the Person (Prohibition) Law, rather Lagos State enacted the Prohibition Against Domestic Violence Law of Lagos, State Law about thirteen years ago, in 2007, and then, to give effect to the law, the State Government established a Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team which it says is
… a collection of professional service providers and officials that respond as a group and in a timely fashion to the various needs of domestic and sexual violence survivors by providing legal, medical, emergency assistance, Counselling and psychological and psycho social support. The state also keeps a list of Police Stations which have a Family Support and Domestic Unit, and centres where victims of SGBV can receive free medical treatment.”
the truth is that between the President-elect Olusegun Obasanjo and the outgoing military dictator General Abdulsalami Abubakar, they went out of their way to make sure that there was no handover on June 12th, which they could have done, I mean, it was just going to be about a couple of weeks’ difference, and they could have made June 12th the handover day and then we wouldn’t have to have this sort of discrepancy between the two things. I think that … generally, we are … as I say, our democracy is very much a work in progress.
Well, Aghogho, the first thing is to remind ourselves as you said, that some of the context … the … the components of IDEAS are Integrity and Accountability, and certainly, obviously if there are atrocities perpetrated by our own government’s security agencies, definitely they have to … there has to be Accountability for that; it’s not a matter of the Police or the Army being accused of atrocities such as killings or torture and so on, and then nobody is held to account.
Well I think in this case there are actually at least three of them: the Integrity of the decisions that are being made, the Ethics that are being brought to bear, and the Accountability. Now Ethics of course, it’s always about finding the balance, because we all know that … minds are increasingly focused on the economic impact of COVID-19, and that’s why you see this growing push for places of work to reopen. And in fact, if you will recall that yesterday the National Economic Council, which is chaired by the Vice President, set up a committee … chaired I think by the Delta State Governor and the Governors also of Lagos, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory’s Minister,
As I always say, IDEAS is about Integrity, Democracy, Ethics and Accountability. And what we’ve seen from our State Governments and the Governors who head the executive there, has been the range. I mean there’s the range from those who started off and said: “We have to take it seriously”. Obviously you have Lagos State – where we are – the response of the State Government, the Governor, the Commissioner for Health, they have all been commended,
I think that we have to look at the context in which this is occurring Aghogho, and the fact is that … we’ve seen that apart from the actual physical and clinical impact of the COVID-19 virus, the economic impact has been even worse. In fact in Nigeria’s case – I was going to call it a ‘double whammy’, but actually, if we look at the fact that first of all, the first whammy is the simple shut down of the economy. Economic activities ground to a halt during Lockdown, and even though the whole country was not locked down, by the time you take Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory
Now next week, the 4th of May to be precise, Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory would begin a modification of the Federal Government-imposed Lockdown. Now one sector whose voice has been somewhat muted in Nigeria’s battle against the Corona Virus Disease has been that of organised labour. As the country joins the rest of the world in marking International Workers’ Day today, let us consider whether there are any IDEAS – talking about issues bordering on Integrity, Democracy, Ethics and Accountability – of particular concern to workers and organisations set up to fight for their interests in the COVID-19 crisis.
eah, I think it’s a real question Chukwudi, simply because of the fact that as we are asking people to stay home, we are also depriving them of their income. And we know that even in the developed countries where people have safety nets and … social security, the situation has been very difficult for a lot of people. But I think that it requires first of all … when you are asking people to make sacrifices, you need to show that you are ready to abide by the rules and to do the things that you are … the minimum things that you are asking people to do.
Ok, so what I will do is try to reach out to Ayo Obe again, so that we can set the ball rolling. Remember I said that today we’re looking at the Federal Government, the NCDC and the Corona virus testing strategy. Now Nigerians in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory are currently in the third week of a Federal Government ordered lockdown, and various states across the Federation are also grappling with a range of different varieties of lockdown
Well it’s obvious, any time that public money is being spent, then there must be Accountability. When money is raised from the public, there must be Accountability. … And I think that it’s important that we understand that it’s not because these are COVID palliatives or COVID reliefs that the demand for Accountability arises.
Yeah, as you know, IDEAS radio’s brief is to look at issues of Integrity, Democracy, Ethics and Accountability. And … so really it’s … our focus is the prevention of corruption and the promotion of transparency.
Yeah, I mean, I thought that … because you may remember that we discussed it a month ago, at the end of February, and we talked about the issue of trust, and how, because we have an Integrity, Ethics and Accountability deficit, that we have this trust deficit. But I think that since then, events on the Corona virus front have really moved on apace, if I can put it like that, in the sense that we seem to be having
Well, technology is what allows us to stay in touch, even though I have a bit of an echo behind me. But … It’s been a very instructive period since we last talked about the issue of trust and belief in what our government authorities are telling us Rotimi, because it seems to me that the issue that we want to discuss today, which is the Abule Ado explosions … comes in with some of the same issues actually.
And good evening everybody in the studio, because we’ve got a lot to discuss. Obviously what I really wanted to discuss with you guys from BudgIT, Damilola and Olaniyi, are some of the IDEAS issues that arise from the Budget, but I thought that in light of the disclosure, or the confirmation as Aghogho said, that we have a confirmed case of Coronavirus in the country, that there are some IDEAS issues that arise before we get to the budgetary aspect of it.
You’re welcome. Ier, as I was saying, what IDEAS tries to look at in issues of moment, are Integrity, Democracy, Ethics and Accountability. Now it comes under the general heading of anti-corruption, but as we always say, corruption is not just about the money and where that’s gone. Because in … when a report of this nature comes out, I think – I mean, before I get into the issues of who is accountable for it –
The BBC report is about a particular form of torture used by the security agencies in Nigeria called ‘Tabeh’. But it … it speaks to … they focused on a particular form, but it actually speaks to the wider issue of Accountability, and that’s why IDEAS, which as you know is about Integrity, Democracy, Ethics and Accountability, that’s why IDEAS is asking this question: Who is being held Accountable where the security agencies breach the laws against torture?
Yeah, I mean I think Rotimi, the first thing that we need to, when we’re talking about IDEAS, this is not … people have been talking about this as though it is a political decision by INEC, or as though it is a subjective matter within the discretion of INEC. And so I think that if we are trying to see: Is INEC behaving … with … in an Ethical manner, behaving with Integrity and so on, we need to emphasise that actually, at this point in the proceedings,
Well, as I said, there are … this matter raises IDEAS issues, because as you know IDEAS is about Integrity, Democracy, Ethics and Accountability. And one of the issues, one of the questions that has been raised, is that: Where does this come from? … And the Government, in its publicity, is saying: It is the 2018 law, Transport Sector Reform Law of Lagos State, that we are merely enforcing. Ok? So that’s one aspect of it.