Nigerians flay Federal Government’s handling of Covid-19 October 20, 2020 in News, News Update, Politics

Nigerians flay Federal Government’s handling of Covid-19 October 20, 2020 in News, News Update, Politics

A SURVEY carried out to measure the perception of Nigerians on leadership and governance in the country has knocked federal and state authorities for their poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the social, economic and cultural lives of millions of people all over the world. The findings of the survey suggest that only 17 per cent of respondents gave the Federal Government a pat on the back for its handling of the pandemic.

Speaking during the presentation of the findings of the survey to reporters in Lagos yesterday, the chairman of the non-governmental organisation that conducted the research, Olanrewaju Suraju said the study revealed that the Federal Government did not do enough to meet global standards in the area of management of information, public education, swift response to public health needs, sharing of palliatives, as well as constructive engagement of the critical sectors.

Suraju said his organisation, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) conducted the survey between August 7 and 8 to create a platform for public inclusion in the democratic space. He said the current public protest against police brutality under the campaign slogan, ‘#EndSARS’ has confirmed one of the critical findings of the research which suggests that citizens lack trust in government.

He said the refusal of protesters to abandon the protests, following the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) by government and the assurances that the authorities will accede to their other demands “is a resounding testimony to lack of trust in government or promises of government”.

He said: “Government at the federal and states’ levels have failed to take advantages provided by the pandemic; donations and grants, to build infrastructure and human capacity to deal with prevailing inadequate health facilities in the country or prepare for any unexpected future threat to healthy life of citizens or at the least, provide social and economic security for the citizens.”

Babajide Ogunsanwo who represented FactBox, which conducted the fieldwork for HEDA Resources Centre said it is ironic that Nigerian governments are not interested in carrying out studies to gauge the mood of citizens or to find out what they want. He said a government that is not interested in knowing the perception of citizens about its leadership or governance would not be able to manage the frustration or discontent of the people when it rears its ugly head.

He said developed democracies such as that of the United States of America usually rely on opinion polls or approval ratings of the people to manage expectations, particularly when preparing for elections. He added: “What you don’t measure, you can’t manage. It is just like when you a tailor to make a dress for you; he must take your measurements so that it can be made to fit.

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The Nation

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