A member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon James Abiodun Faleke has urged the National Caretaker Chairman of the All Progressives Congress(APC), Governor Mai Mala Buni to immediately shelve the planned Registration and Revalidation of membership programme of the party in order to avoid further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic amongst Nigerians.
Faleke, who doubles as the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, gave the advice in an open letter to Buni, said the call was necessary in order to save the ruling party from the moral burden of helping the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 infection.
“I’m constrained to write this letter to you to express my concern over an issue that can earn us negative moral ratings as a political party and as Nigerians in general.
”The prevailing Pandemic situation in Nigeria and and the fact of being a COVID-19 Survivor have compelled me to write this letter to you as a loyal and committed party member and a patriotic Nigerian”, he said.
He categorically stated that the contents of the letter were his personal opinion based on personal experience, interaction with people and observation of events happening around us daily.
He added that he personally felt the decision to revalidate and conduct new registration of members was a laudable and commendable one as the party move towards another general elections in 2023, saying the need to update their membership register could not have come at a more opportune period.
”However, as “laudable as the Registration plan may be, what about the TIMING of the exercise?
”With due respect sir, it is my considered opinion that the timing is not appropriate at this time, especially given the the renewed surge in the spread of Covid as it is being reported on daily basis by the Presidential Task Force.
“Some states are already over stretched in oxygen supplies and care. Our Government has for some time given directives to the Religious bodies to reduce congressional attendance at both Churches and Mosques.
”So many states have cancelled social gatherings. While others are compelling the use of face masks to reduce the rate of infection and fatalities. So why must we go into an exercise that will certainly draw large crowds across the various states?”, he queried.
Faleke, therefore advised the National Caretaker Chairman to postpone the exercise in the interest of the nation.
“Mr Chairman, I’m strongly of the opinon that this exercise should be put postponed till a more appropriate time. Personally, I believe this will not only shore up the image of our great party but will also save lives of Nigerians.
“Mr Chairman, let me give you a grim statistics of COVID-19 in January 2021.
”Between January 1st to January 22nd, a total of 196 deaths were recorded from COVID-19. This amounted to 13.2% of the whole total of 1, 485 fatalities recorded throughout the country. This is also means that an average of nine people died daily of COVID-19 between January 1st and 22nd”.
“Between January 19 and 22, a total of 6, 134 people tested positive to COVID-19 and the number of infections continue to grow higher and higher prompting the Federal Government to even consider another lockdown.
“Already, places of worship are operating in half capacity while in some states, most civil servants are working from home.
“All these measures were put in place to control the spread of the deadly virus, my question is do we need to aggravate the situation by going ahead with our registration and revalidation exercise?”, he said.
He added: “If our members come out to register in high numbers, then the possibility of increase in the number of COVID-19 cases might be high and ultimately lead to increase in the number of fatalities.
”If our members refuse to come out for fear of being infected, then we will have lesser numbers of members to be registered for our party. Either way, God forbid, we lose.
“We are the ruling party and we must be in the forefront of promoting the welfare of our people, pushing this exercise forward will rather add to our popularity rather than reducing it. We can afford to do this because we presently don’t have any particular election to deal with”.