Mobilizing for a generational change

Don’t play politics with COVID-19, says ex-minister

A former Minister of Transportation, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, has pleaded with Nigerians to close ranks to tame the novel coronavirus, saying “it is wrong to play politics with the disease’’.

Babatope, a chieftain of the PDP made the plea in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.

He described the disease as a common enemy that all Nigerians, irrespective of social, ethnic or religious backgrounds must join forces to fight.

Babatope advised against politicizing the pandemic, saying it would be irresponsible to make the disease a subject of unnecessary politics.

“I call on Nigerians across different ethnic, social and religious backgrounds to unite against COVID-19 and join efforts to defeat the pandemic.

“COVID-19 is a common enemy of all, so we should forget our differences and battle this problem together.

“This is not the time to play PDP, APC or APGA. This is an emergency situation because people are dying. We must not play silly and irresponsible politics with the pandemic.

“We must unite to save lives. After we have defeated the disease, we can go back to full politics again.”

Babatope lamented the increasing loss of lives to the pandemic, urging government at all levels and various stakeholders to do more to stop the virus.

He also advised citizens to adhere to measures prescribed by government and experts to stay safe and curb the spread of the disease.

The PDP chieftain expressed worry over the economic impact of the disease, particularly in relation to job losses, pleading with government to evolve strategies to stop the trend.

The former minister said also that the plan by the Federal Government to merge government ministries and agencies as recommended by the Oronsaye Report was a step in the right direction.

He, however, advised government to implement the report in such a way that it would not lead to job losses.



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