Let Nigerian Health Minister Go- Advocates Human Rights Lawyer

Osagie Ehanire
Osagie Ehanire

The Federal Government has been asked to relieve the Nigerian Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire of his position over the mishandling of COVID-19 on the visit of Chinese medical doctors to the country.

Speaking in an interview on Wednesday in Planet 101.1 FM, Uyo, Mr. Clifford Thomas, the Human rights lawyer, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Ehanire for committing some inconsistencies in the handling of the COVID-19.

When Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) protested against the Federal Government’s decision to bring the Chinese medical doctors to the country, the minister had explained that the medics based on their expertise and experience would help to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

“We are … profoundly dismayed to learn that the Federal Government is … inviting the Chinese who from available accounts are not out of the woods themselves. The spike in cases and the death toll from COVID-19 in Italy coincided with the arrival of the Chinese in the guise of offering assistance. Even the United Nations has only just recently commended the efforts of Nigeria so far,” NMA said.

Yet, a team of Chinese medical professionals on Wednesday, April 8 arrived at Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Nigeria flying in medical equipment worth about 1.5 million US dollars. The Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, whiles welcoming the 15-man team said it is time to “reciprocate the friendship and kindness” offered by Nigeria.

However, after some weeks, Ehanire denied the whereabouts of the medical doctors and technicians, though CCECC, a Chinese construction company, has two days ago admitted that the medics are in their custody.

Thomas said “The Health Minister told Nigerians that the Chinese medical doctors were coming with their equipment and expertise to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“Yet after some time, the minister denied that he did not know the whereabouts of the Chinese. For this, he should go. He has committed a lot of inconsistencies and has destroyed the confidence-building image the people reposed in him. Again, he has dented the mage of the country,” he said.

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Commenting on the slashing of salaries of political office holders in Akwa Ibom State by the government, the human rights lawyer said initially it looks like a citizen story but it is a populist one.

“We do not know much they are being paid and how much will be deducted and saved. Let the people know how much will be slashed from their salaries and the security vote of the governor. It is proper to know how much will be collected and what the money will be channeled to. The people have to know the economic stimulus that will be provided for the people during this COVID-19 period.”