The Senator representing Oyo central senatorial district, Senator Teslim Folarin has urged the Executive Governor of the Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde to allow his deputy, Engr Remi Olaniyan lead the fight against coronavirus.
Folarin, a third-term member of the red chambers made the call to the governor on Friday morning during a live call-in program on Fresh FM monitored by OYOINSIGHT.COM.
Folarin stated that he has nothing against the former Chief Medical Director of UCH, Professor 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, however, noted 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.
In his words, “This is a period of great uncertainty that requires both the health sector professionals and 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?
“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.
“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.
“All around the world, when government 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.
It is symbolic to reassure the public, why must Makinde recover before his deputy can function?” The senator said.
He also expressed his total support for a total shut down to prevent the spread of a disease that has killed thousands globally.
When questioned about 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.”
The former gubernatorial candidate of the PDP also criticized 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.
He added, “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 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 state and at the Federal level?