Coronavirus: Folarin tells Makinde to allow Deputy lead task force
Former Senate Leader and Senator currently representing Oyo Central Senatorial District, Teslim Folarin has asked Governor Seyi Makinde to allow his deputy, Remi Olaniyan lead the fight against coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
Folarin said “this is a period of great uncertainty and the people of the state need a political figure who is physically in charge to give them hope”.
The lawmaker who stated this during a live radio programme in Ibadan said that he had nothing against the former Chief Medical Director of UCH, Temitope Alonge holding forte as the head of the Oyo State Special Task Force On COVID-19 while the Governor recovers from Coronavirus because he is a “thoroughbred professional who is competent”.
He noted however, this is a period of great uncertainty that requires both the health sector professionals, and more importantly the political leadership to give people hope.
“I wonder where the deputy governor is. Where is he? Have you been seeing him? Why can’t he deputize now?” he asked.
“What is the problem with the culture of rendering deputies irrelevant and redundant. Let the deputy governor come out now and play the role he was constitutionally elected to fill.”
Makinde tested positive for Coronavirus and is currently in isolation.
The three-term legislator noted that “as far as Oyo state and Nigeria at large is concerned, this is currently the biggest task for government. Seyi Makinde leading by teleconferencing isn’t enough. People want to see somebody who is in charge physically.
“All around the world, when governments address Coronavirus issues, for instance in America, when Doctor Fauci (head of American Center for Infectious Diseases) speaks, you see President Trump Standing beside him along with the Vice President. That is what it takes around the world. So, it is symbolic to reassure the public. Why must Makinde recover before his deputy can function?”
He also expressed his support for a total lockdown to prevent the spread of a disease that has killed thousands globally.
On the effect a total lockdown will have on the life of poor Nigerians, he said: “Look, people will not die of hunger for now; staying alive is all that matters. You must first be alive before you talk about what to eat.”
Folarin also frowned at the way the federal government is currently handling the fight against the virus and expressed worries over the lack of sufficient testing facilities to diagnose carriers of the disease.
“I seriously doubt all these statistics about the number of infected persons being carried about in Nigeria. Until you complete adequate testing, you cannot finalize on who does or doesn’t have the virus.
“The U.K, for instance, has promised to test at least 100,000 people by the end of April – an impressive and ambitious plan. How many people have we tested? how many do we project to have tested by that same time? What measures are being implemented to scale up testing to a much larger number than what we currently have on ground in the states and at the Federal level?”
Meanwhile, Folarin and his wife, Angela have tested negative for coronavirus. They received their test results on Saturday.
The couple decided to take the test a few days ago.