LAGOS JUNE 1, 2020: As part of its efforts to fight COVID-19 in Nigeria, the private sector, the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), has joined forces with traditional rulers and community leaders in Nigeria, with the aim of driving education and awareness about the COVID-19 global pandemic deep into the local communities.
Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi (Kusenla III), the Elegushi of Ikate Kingdom and Oba Kabiru Adewale Shotobi, the Ayangburen of Ikorodu are among the traditional rulers who have recently supported CACOVID’s community sensitization efforts in Lagos State.
Due to the influence, position of power and high regard accorded to these traditional rulers by their communities, CACOVID recognizes their role as instrumental in mobilizing and inspiring positive actions among the people, which will ultimately curb the spread of the virus.
Shedding more light on this initiative, Mr. Amaechi Okobi, a member of the CACOVID operational committee and Group Head, Corporate Communications, Access Bank Nigeria, revealed that “this move is part of CACOVID’s efforts to limit the community spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria. Community spread has been identified as the major means by which COVID-19 spreads.
“If we must reduce this trend and flatten the curve, we must sensitize and educate the communities. To achieve this, our best route is through the traditional rulers and community leaders, mainly because of the deep connection and influence these leaders have on their communities. CACOVID is committed to its goal of eradicating COVID-19 from Nigeria, and we are ready to do that by every means possible”.
On the part of the traditional rulers, they expressed optimism that the efforts of CACOVID will pay off in the fight against the virus. They also commended the Coalition for their work and assured their endorsement, full participation, and support in the eradication of COVID-19 from their various communities and kingdoms.
He stated further that, “The traditional rulers and community leaders, as part of their efforts towards curbing the spread of the virus demonstrated personal hygiene practices such as proper hand washing, and went on to further educate community chiefs on social distancing and other guidelines for limiting the spread of COVID-19. They will also help in the distribution of CACOVID relief items in their communities to help cushion the effects of the lockdown and restriction on movement.”
The Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) is partnering with the Federal Government, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), created with the sole aim and vision of eradicating COVID-19 from Nigeria.
This Coalition is tasked with pulling resources across industries to provide technical and operational support while also providing funding and building advocacy through aggressive awareness drives.
This will be achieved by collaborating with the Government to boost private and public healthcare facilities ability to respond to the crisis by providing funds to set up several testing, isolation and treatment centres in all geo-political zones of Nigeria; aggressively increasing general public awareness, education and buy-in to prevent panic and resulting chaos.