Kano State, like its counterpart in Lagos, has had more than its fair share of the Coronavirus disease. In this interview, Senator Rufai Hanga warned that more trouble might be lurking, if the administration of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje continues to lie low in its containment effort.
It appears that things are gradually returning to normal in Kano following the recent ravaging effect of Coronavirus disease in the state. Doesn’t it?
Yes, in my opinion, things may be gradually subsiding, but the reason is that there is no proper testing. The testing is not adequate. If they do proper testing, they will find out that so many people are carrying the disease. The testing is not adequate enough for us to say it is okay. A lot of infected persons have gone round the city and they have spread the virus. That is my belief, anyway! The testing is not adequate enough to confirm that things are okay.
And in spite of all, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje went ahead to give approval for Eid-Fitr prayer after the Ramadan fasting. Is that not another looming danger?
He gave the order so that we can pray, but there was no obedience to the rule of social distancing, and the majority did not put on mask. On Friday too, he gave a go ahead order for congregational prayer even though the Federal Government had directed that they should close mosques for more weeks, but he didn’t follow the directive.
That possibly implies that there may still be fire on the mountain?
Yes, there is still fire on the mountain. The way things are happening now, I am sure they are spreading it. As I understand the nature of the pandemic, the virus continues to spread by the day. It is very unfortunate. I am sure we are not witnessing a terrible situation now because there is no adequate testing. The governor is too careless.
Recall that COVID Organics produced by Madagascar as a cure for the virus has been delivered to the President. So far, what is your own assessment of the government’s attitude to the use of traditional medicine as alternative treatment?
The government has said that it must go through the approval of the appropriate authorities before it can be administered on infected persons. That is the right thing to do. This is not to say that traditional herbal cannot cure it. Before the orthodox medicine, traditional herbals had been used to cure so many diseases. But there is always conspiracy by the international bodies like WHO against Africa. I think it is high time government began to look inward for solution to the pandemic.
Kano State is not alone in this instance. Some other states are also not following the directives of the NCDC on the measures to control the spread of the pandemic. They prefer to do things in their own way. What do you think the Federal Government can do to make them fall in line?
Can that happen under former President Olusegun Obasanjo? Did you see it happen under Goodluck Jonathan and Yar’Adua? I won’t say anything more than that. At least, you know that if there is conflict between federal and state laws, the federal takes precedence.
By and large, the pandemic has revealed the decay in the nation’s health institutions. The SGF admitted this much in his recent public statement when he said that he did not know the extent of the rot in the health sector until the outbreak of the pandemic. What’s the way forward?
The way forward is for the government to give priority attention to the health sector. Now that we know how bad our health institutions are, we have to work on how to improve the quality of healthcare service delivery. But honestly, no nation can claim to have prepared for the pandemic. Even the US did not prepare for it. And for me, this is one of the positives of the pandemic. The world now knows that many things have been done wrongly. For example, there has been concern over the climate change. Experts have said it that there has been depletion of the ozone layer in the last 50 years as a result of climate change. And if the ozone is completely depleted, it can wipe out the entire human race. With this pandemic, I read a report that within the period of the lockdown enforced by many nations when there was no emission from cars and other things, ozone layer has fully recovered back to normal. This is one of the positives of the pandemic. That would not have been possible without the pandemic. Even religious wise, there are certain things people were doing before which they may not go back to again when the virus is defeated.