FORMER Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has commended the governors of South East states for their proactive measures, which has kept the COVID-19 figures low as he remains optimistic that the nation would ultimately overcome the threat posed by the pandemic.
At weekend in Awgu as he distributed palliatives to his constituents, the senator (PDP, Enugu West Senatorial District), praised governments at all levels, the international community, corporate Nigeria, and philanthropists for their efforts to mitigate the challenges occasioned by pandemic.
He specially commended the governors of South East states for their proactive measures, which he said kept the COVID-19 figures in the zone low. But he urged the states not to relent.
Represented by Secretary of the Enugu State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Chief Cletus Akalusi, Ekweremadu said hailed the proactive measures taken by the governors, which “I believe accounts for the comparatively low cases in the region.
“Nevertheless, we must not let down our guards. We must consolidate on this advantage of minimal cases by continuously staying safe and building capacities in the areas of medical infrastructure, equipment, personnel, and food security to prepare ourselves for the days ahead.”
He urged the Federal Government to increase its social interventions to lessen the burden of hardship on Nigerians, as he called on Nigerians to be their brothers’ keeper.
The senator therefore called on the Presidency to “increase the amount and number of beneficiaries in the Conditional Cash Transfer programme in order to impact a significant number of indigent Nigerians.”
He said: “I wish I could reach out to everyone that needs help at this time, but I shall continue to do my best. Let people continue to complement efforts of the government in cushioning the present hardship on the less privileged citizens.”
Ekweremadu, who is also the Chairman of the South East Senate Caucus, promised to “continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that the South East geopolitical zone gets its fair and equitable share of every intervention by the Federal Government in addition to our modest individual initiatives to help our constituents in these trying times.”
The former Deputy President of the Senate, in a press statement by his Media Adviser, Uche Anichukwu, stressed the need for the nation to marshal out realistic plans to deal with what would be the long-term impact of the pandemic on the economy, aware of the projections of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Nigeria would be hit by its worst recession in 30 years.
Ekweremadu, who is a member of the 7-man International Parliamentary Taskforce on COVID-19, said in the meantime, virtual meetings are being held around the world on mitigating the effects of the pandemic on vulnerable citizens in developing nations, and countries with low capacity to deal with the pandemic and its effects.
“We will continue to share perspectives with a view to mobilising ideas and global resources to deal with the pandemic,” he added.