Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 elections in Oyo State, Chief Bayo Adelabu, has kicked against the decision of the government to re-open schools, saying the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration does not appreciate the seriousness of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Adelabu, who is a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), spoke on Fresh FM radio interview on Saturday in Ibadan, explaining that with rising cases of COVID-19 in the state, the government ought to rescind its decision to re-open schools and worship centres.
“We started school at age six and some of the kids now start as early as age three and if it takes one year for government to close the schools to protect these kids from contracting the virus, it is worth it. Why are we rushing thing in Oyo State? Why should the pupils resume? If schools resume, my daughter will not go to school.
“The government announcement that pupils should resume school shows the government does not really appreciate the gravity of the impact of the pandemic. When you have rising cases on a daily basis and you ask pupils to resume school, it is like you deliberately want to kill people.
“For worship centres, we can worship God at home. I am against resumption of school activities and re-opening of worship centres. If Pastor Enoch Adeboye says he will not be in church if church re-opens, who is that church member that will be he is more saintly that Pa Adeboye?
“Our leader, the Sultan has also said mosques should not re-open yet. Even Saudi Arabia is considering cancelling Hajj for this year. There was no Umrah. So, if the people that ‘own’ the religion, why are we in a rush? I don’t think the government should play to the gallery.
“People will advise the governor wrongly, which is why courage is very important trait for a governor. As governor, he should do what is right and not what a few people say. It is not every step of government that will go down well with people. We should not pander to the wishes of a few who will advise based on selfish interest. Empirical knowledge must dictate what to do,” he said.
Reflecting on the 2019 elections in the state, Adelabu said he lost because of the success of the coalition that teamed up with Makinde to win the election, adding that he would have defeated the PDP candidate one-to-one without others joining him.