A former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof Chidi Odinkalu, says Nigerian government’s disposition to the COVID-19 crisis has been marred by panic, lack of preparation and dependency on overseas solutions that are not adapted to the country’s realities. 

Odinkalu also reacted to the situation in northern Nigeria where the Almajiri children are being repatriated to their states of origin, saying the northern governors didn’t carefully think out their plans.

“Again, ask the northern governors how it is that they only now discovered Almajiris,” he said in an interview with SaharaReporters on Wednesday.

Speaking on the attacks against Africans in China, the professor of law blamed the various African governments for their “refusal to take the lives of our people seriously protect our people around the world.”

He said, “I want to ask where is the logic or science in opening markets and shutting churches and mosques? In these kinds of situations, you want the decisions of government to be consistent and to make sense because the government should not feel but must think before it acts. Sadly, our whole disposition so far in this COVID-19 crisis has been underpinned by panic, lack of preparation and dependency on overseas solutions that are not adapted to our realities. 

“And again, they are lying their way through dangerous decision-making that endangers everyone. The Northern Governors Forum claims it has a protocol that Almajiris are not to be removed from anywhere without being tested etc. Kaduna State Government claims to have sent over 30,000 of them to other states, which is far more than the number of people Nigeria has tested. Do you mean testing in Nigeria is only for Almajiris? 

“Meanwhile, the Almajiris removed from Kano are the reason for the spikes in Azare, Dutse, Gombe, Kaduna, Sokoto. Right? That tells you all you need to know. The reality surely is that anyone who knows their state of origin in Nigeria is unlikely to be an Almajiri by the way.”

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