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Stop playing with peoples’ lives – Group tackles Makinde over poor-handling of Coronavirus - COVID-19

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Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
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calendar-icon Posted on: 2020-03-25 08:15:37
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SEYI-MAKINDE



A socio-cultural group, Oyo Youths United for Greatness (OYYUG), on Tuesday, blamed the Oyo State Government over what it termed as poor handling of the pandemic Coronavirus also known as Covid-19.

OYYUG in a statement signed by its Secretary, Olufunmilayo Adeboye and made available to journalists shortly after emergency meeting of the group in Oyo town on Tuesday, also called on the state Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde to caution one of his aides, Moses Alao, against attacking journalists in the state.

Press gathered that the Oyo State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), had yesterday raised an alarm that the state Governor, Mr. Makinde was not ready to curtail the spread of Coronavirus in the state.

The union said that the poor handling of the reports on Covid-19 shown that the Governor and the state government are not ready to tackle the menace.

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However, Makinde in a statement issued by his Special Assistant (Print Media), Moses Alao, described as false and complete misrepresentation, a statement issued by the NUJ.

He added that the position of the NUJ was given out of lack of adequate information and probably with the intent to mislead the people of Oyo State and cause panic and disaffection towards the government.

But, OYYUG while reacting, said that Makinde and his aide were playing with the lives of the people by attacking journalists who gave the position of the state preparation against Covid-19.

“Having gone through the release made yesterday by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council, we discovered that the report only analysed the preparedness of the Oyo State Government to tackle the ravaging corona virus (COVID-19). Without being baised, NUJ’s action was basically driven by public interest not politics and most be commended.

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“One would have expected Moses Alao to give a professional advice to his principal being a media personnel instead of attacking journalists like a lion that lost its canine teeth during an attack. In Alao’s statement, he asserted that the report was politically motivated and written by untrained journalists.

“Some statement in the release signed by Alao were made to put integrity of the journalists in the state in doubt and gave the issue political colouration. This we considered to be very insulting and unwarranted, and ought not to have been made against men of a noble profession whose interest is to offer all to protect the lives of every individual in our society during this tough period.

The group said that the issue of COVID-19 was not a personal or political issue, but a general issue that put all citizens of the state including the governor as well as the masses at risk.

“The role of journalists as agenda setters can’t be jettisoned at this crucial time when the lives of all including that of the state governor, state executives and their family members are at risk.

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“It is good to note that the isolation centre claimed by government to be Jericho hospital now was never known to the public until yesterday after NUJ’s statement.

“But, we are happy that the 5-bed spaces at the Jericho Hospital designated as isolation centre shortly after the report As stated by the Commissioner for Health has now increased to 10-bed hospital. We thank the governor for this prompt action and increment which to some extent has assuage our fears. We hope to see more of this as we collectively tackle the ravaging virus. Our advice to the Governor is to see the media as strong stakeholders in the project ‘Oyo State’ and work closely with them to realise his objective of promoting good governance. In addition, every observation raised by the NUJ should be holistically viewed from progressive point of view.”


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