There is now palpable fear and anxiety among key players in the nation’s political space following an unprecedented rise in the number of elite casualties. Information reaching us has it that several political bigwigs across the states of the federation now live in fear and utmost suspicion of one another for fear of being infected. On Friday , the Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa announced that he and his family would proceed on self isolation for two weeks. He also announced that one of his daughters had tested positive. Earlier, some top officials of the State, including Secretary to the State Government, Chiedu Ebie and Commissioner for Information Mr. Charles Aniagwu tested positive to the virus. Over 532 cases of infected persons have since been recorded in the state with over 20 deaths.
The story is not different in Oyo, Abia and Imo States where several government functionaries are reportedly in isolation centers while in many others online executive meeting have become the norm. In Imo State alone, almost half of the members of the State House of Assembly have allegedly tested positive while the assembly complex is under lock and key. Several state governors have also been rattled by the virus amongst whom are El-Rufai of Kaduna and Bala Muhammad of Bauchi state. The Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu is receiving treatment in Abuja while several of his aides and family members are in self isolation. Elites in the Northern parts of the country are also grappling with the consequences of their failure to admit on time the veracity of the invisible virus.
They have lost several academicians and emirs to the virus even as they battle to contain the virus. From Kano, Zamfara to Jigawa and Katsina, the rate of casualties amongst the elites is still giving the authorities sleepless nights. Perhaps, aside the death of Abba Kyari, no other in recent times have jolted members of the ruling class like that of two eminent politicians in the South West: Senators Bayo Oshinowo from Lagos and Abiola Ajimobi, former governor of Oyo State who both passed on in a space of two weeks. As the reality of COVID-19 continues to dawn on the leadership across Nigeria and Africa, many are hopeful that they would be compelled to summon the political will to improve on the dilapidated health care and the general living conditions of the citizen.