The overall body governing flights in Nigeria, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, that had initially promised resumption of international flights on the 29th day of August, 2020; has now postponed the resumption to Saturday, September 5th, 2020.
The body which gave protocols for passengers, especially one involving passengers returning to the country, could be seen as being COVID-19 cautious. More so, with the major protocol for returning passengers being that passengers arriving or returning to Nigeria must have tested negative for COVID-19 in country of departure.
But then, with the excitement that comes with the resumption of international flights, comes the doom that lies within the decision. The country has recorded 53,727 cases, with a reported amount of 41,314 recovered cases, and a further amount of 1,011 deaths; including some major citizens involved in governance, a long list that includes the former governor of Oyo state, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi; and even the highly revered Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari who died in office.
At the peak of the virus, the country was in lockdown. But with the lockdown came the harsh realities of the economy. In a country with such large amount of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and poor database, hunger was certain to set in. Ferocious hunger that made the people not to even care if there is corona virus. According to many of them, the virus should kill them, rather than watch death by starvation slowly come upon them.
It was even so sad and pitiful to watch as poor market women who stubbornly refused to stay at home, due to starvation, had kerosene sprayed on their edible wares,to render them unmarketable. Most of the women rolled and wailed on the ground; while most, even went naked and cursed at whomever they could curse.
Fear gripped citizens, especially the so called ‘middle class’ that lived in suburbs not so secured. As reports of hoodlums breaking into people’s houses and carting with all they could, pilfered around. Citizens around the nation prayed for whatsoever cure of any kind. Some others pray for flattening of the curve, but it seem not to go any lower.
Gradually, the government began to relax the lockdown. With the relaxation of the lockdown questioned by some. While others couldn’t hide their excitement. With time, Nigerians gave no care to the numbers. They felt the virus was non existent in the country. It had now became a case of “Let the strong survive”.
While most Nigerians have criticised the resumption of International flights, that it is being done now because schools abroad are about to open, and the rich Nigerian politicians are about to send their children abroad while the educational institutions across the country remain in lockdown. Others have greeted it with excitement.
But then, its a leap of huge faith. As the curve hasn’t flattened in Nigeria; and if the hoax that people say it is in Nigeria is true. What then happens now that the ‘real’ virus would have the opportunity to fly in. Would the country be able to survive the ‘second coming’? Widely famed as the most populous black nation in the world, one can only imagine the doom that will come with the second coming of the dreaded virus.