COVID-19 TOTAL LOCKDOWN: OGUN STATE GOVT. MUST MAKE ADEQUATE PALLIATIVES AVAILABLE FOR WORKERS AND POOR MASSES INCLUDING PAYMENT OF N50,000 MONTHLY TO HOUSEHOLDS
NLC, TUC, ULC AND CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS MUST SUPPORT THESE DEMANDS AS A STEP TOWARDS CONTAINING COVID-19 AND TO AVOID NEAR STATE OF ANARCHY IN OGUN STATE
The Socialist Party of Nigeria Ogun state chapter calls on the Dapo Abiodun APC-led government to immediately make available adequate palliatives including the payment of N50,000 monthly allowance to the working and poor households, to cushion the acuminating negative effects occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic, as the state gears up to embark on enforcement of total lockdown in with effect from Saturday 18th April, 2020. This will help guarantee compliance and prevent descent into anarchy in the state, something which has started with looting and violence unleashed in some communities in the state by some gangs of hoodlums.
The SPN also demands the setting up of facilities for mass testing and isolation centres in all the local government areas in the state, and the provision of face masks, hand gloves, sanitizers and hand washing facilities in all communities and public places by the government free of charge. This together with the provision of adequate palliatives to the working people and the poor will greatly help in containing the ravaging coronavirus.
The SPN condemns the way and manner in which the paltry and grossly inadequate relief materials so far made available in some parts of the state by the government have been managed and distributed. The so called stimulus package has become means of personal promotions, showmanship, political patronage, disaster profiteering, likened to graveyard sympathies, by capitalist politicians, including Dapo Abiodun the state governor, and their big business collaborators.
This profits first motive together with the characteristic greed of anti-poor pro-capitalist politicians at the expense of lives and needs of the suffering majority, whose means of livelihoods has been disrupted and dislocated by the lockdown, is what is largely responsible for the gang wars, armed robberies, banditry and other social ills presently being experienced in some communities across the state, especially the Ifo and Ado/Odo local government areas.
It is the anti-poor neo-liberal capitalist policies of the successive state and federal governments which were responsible for underfunding of social utilities, like education, health care system, mass housing, roads etc., and the government’s sordid preparedness, insensitivity and seeming impervious attitude towards the plights of the working poor amidst this ravaging Coronavirus pandemic and the worsening economic condition it has occasioned.
The SPN therefore demands that elected committees comprising community associations, labour unions, civil society organizations, community activists from all the local government areas in the state, been saddled with the responsibility of planning, purchasing and distribution of relief materials and cash transfer, after due consultations with citizens in the various communities. This is to know their needs and ensures adequacy and equitable distribution of such materials in order to avoid corrupt enrichment, partisanship, patronage and racketeering. This would help forestall the total descent into state of anarchy, which capitalist politicians are currently plunging the society .
We call on NLC, TUC, ULC , civil society organizations and community activists to take the lead in supporting these demands, and also calling for the implementation of the 30,000 minimum wage by the state government and private sector without downsizing of work forces; payment of all outstanding salary arears and allowances owed the workers; a stop to casual labour by private companies; and prompt and continued payment of salaries and allowances without job losses during and after the COVID-19 pandemic by both the government and private sector.
Eko John Nicholas