Why Lagos State Government Must Reach-Out To Communities on COVID 19 – CSOs

Some civil society organisations have commended the Lagos state government on the manner it is handling the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in a state with an estimated population of 23million people.

Gbenga Komolafe, Secretary General, Federation of Informal Workers of Nigeria (FIWON), Chief Raymond Gold,Coordinator, Housing and Community Upgrade,Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation (Federation), Dr Taibat Lawawson, Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development, University of Lagos,.Dr. Temilade Sesan, Sankofa Policy Lab, Betty Abah, Centre for Children’s Health Education,

Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE Nigeria), Olamide Udoma – Ejorh, Lagos Urban Development Initiative, Deji Akinpelu, Rethink Cities Initiative, Folashade Adeboyejo, POLYBRIQ and Segun Ogunleye, Urbanovate Enterprise, signed the press statement issued.

According to the CSOs, COVID-19 testing and advocacy be extended to low income communities, with clear protocols on reporting and responding to suspected cases outlined, bearing in mind that these communities are densely populated

– That special interventions in primary and secondary health care services are given priority, as well as separating suspected COVID-19 cases from local communities to avoid a spiraling infection in the densely populated areas and for treating them safely.

We also observe with concern that the current palliative measures are not achieving their desired effect, in that distribution is limited, thus propelling protest and violence in many low-income communities.

We therefore request the LASG to consider the following propositions to achieve inclusive and sustainable Covid19 palliative care for the vulnerable:

– That LASG allows individuals, corporate and faith-based organisations with proven engagement in local communities to lead with the distribution of material support to these communities

– That LASG should consider a time limited financial support package to duly registered small-scale trade and market cooperatives, which will be disbursed through individual BVN accounts. International Development Assistance can be used to offset the costs of such payments

– That a mixed strategy of cash transfer +in kind support be considered for the women in need, especially for the unbanked.

– Due to the fact that Lagos relies on food distribution networks from other parts of Nigeria and

beyond, that the operative food distribution chains be kept open – with transporters and local retailers allowed to move around responsibly – during the lock down period.

These food distributors and market women are rendering essential services. We especially recommend that the Neighborhoods Corps and local market associations support the enforcement of social distancing protocols for both buyers and sellers in these markets.

Situations like these call for price control measures that will ensure price stability

– That the Mile 12 traders’ association normalises prices and keeps them constant.

A subsidy mechanism in which government pays the difference to traders if they have to sell below the cost price can be established for this period.

– That access to free water and hand washing stations is ensured in all crowded communities

– That regular clearing of waste is ensured in communities not covered by PSPs and LAWMA’s bridge project

– That special arrangements should be made to provide temporary accommodation and feeding for the homeless in order to guarantee the requirements for social distancing and isolation for this very vulnerable layer of the population.

We acknowledge and commend the efforts of the Lagos state government to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19across the state

We recognize the efforts of the state government to provide palliatives for the elderly and vulnerable, especially those whose livelihoods have been disrupted by market closure and travel restrictions. We note that the urban poor are the most vulnerable in this period of global health pandemic and economic uncertainty.

Constant displacements over the past decades have increased overcrowding in many low -income areas, making all the palliative measures even more necessary.

We salute the efforts of all individual and corporate entities supporting the efforts of LASG in these challenging times and we gratefully acknowledge the solidarity of international donors and development organisations.

Critical Thinking: Why Is It Hard For Some People To Accept That Their Government Lies To Them?

There are those that not only believe that their government, along with other governments around the world, would lie to them but who also have the evidence to back it up. This is then not going to be something that has just happened once; it will be something that takes place on a regular basis.

Someone like this could talk about what has happened in the past, laying down a number of instances when this has happened. In addition to talking about when this has taken place in their country; they can give examples of when this has happened in other countries.

A Mixed Response

If they were to speak freely about what they know, they are likely to find there are at least three types of people. Firstly, there are those that agree with them, secondly, those that are unsure, and thirdly, those that completely dismiss what they have to say.

The first two types of people are unlikely to leave the same mark on them as the third type of people. When they have shared what they know with these types of people, they may have often been labelled as a conspiracy theorist and/or someone who is basically crazy.

A Strange Scenario

One may have shared what they know, and even given sources that back up what they believe, only to be treated like they have a screw loose and should be locked away. It is then not that one will have looked deeply into what is going on and found evidence; no, it is that they are someone who is delusional and believes in fantasies.

Ultimately, when one opens up to someone who can’t even entertain, let alone accept, that their government would lie to them, they are going to be wasting their precious energy. It will be far better for them to save their energy and to direct somewhere else, somewhere where it can be put to good use.

The Ideal Scenario

When someone is unable to consider the idea that their government would lie to them, it could be said that they are the perfect citizen. Let’s face it; the last thing that a government would want is for the citizenry to be aware of their misdeeds.

And when someone like this person says this to another person that has looked deeper, and even tries to silence them, they will be unknowingly supporting what their government is doing. This won’t occur to them, though, because they won’t have taken the time to look a little deeper into what is going on.

The Desire

It would be easy to say that those that are not aware of the kinds of things that their government does are not intelligent. But this would be an oversimplification, and it would create the impression that those that do look deeper are intelligent.

Rather than it being about how intelligent someone is, it would probably be more accurate to say that it often comes down to whether or not the desire to find out the truth is there or not. There are those that are highly intelligent but that don’t have this desire and those that are not exceptionally intelligent that do.

Two Parts

When it comes to what gives someone the desire to find out what is true and what isn’t and who doesn’t simply accept what the mainstream media tells them, it is hard to say. Perhaps they were born this way or perhaps something happened to them to make them this way.

Another thing that is bound to play a part is the relationship that someone has with their own emotions. This is not to say that those that are interested in what is true and what isn’t, have a very healthy relationship with their emotions.

Opening Pandora’s Box

However, if someone is unable to accept that their government would lie to them, and has done for a very long time, it can show that it is due to what they are not willing to face within themselves. In other words, if they were to accept this, what would it bring up to the surface of their mind?

What it could bring up is feelings that they have avoided for a very long time; feelings that are too painful for them to face. Not questioning what is going on is then not so much about them not believing that the government would lie; it is more about them keeping certain feelings, feelings that they are probably not even consciously aware of, at bay.

Going Deeper

In some cases, someone could unconsciously perceive the government as a parental figure, someone that is there to take care of them. Through seeing them in this way, even if they are not aware of it, it allows them to experience a false sense of safety and security.

Perhaps their early years were not very nurturing or stable, hence why they expect so much from the government. Ergo, if they were to see that this parental figure was not who they made themselves out to be it could bring up some of their early wounds.

A Defence

Maintaining the illusion that they have created is then going to be essential, that’s if they are to avoid what is taking place inside them. If they were to let go of this illusion, they could end up being in a bad way and even falling apart.

The trouble is that through needing to keep all this pain at bay, it stops them from being able to accept what is going on. To use an analogy: their experience is very similar to someone who is unable to face up to the fact that their partner is cheating, thanks to what it would end up triggering inside them.

Conclusion

What this illustrates is how someone’s inner world can prevent them from being able to see what is often right in front of them. Thus, when it comes to thinking critically, having a certain level of emotional intelligence is important.