TWELVE FORMER AFRICAN LEADERS, amongst them, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, are seeking support from African Union, United Nations, World Health Organisation, World Bank, and G-20, to urgently develop plans to moderate social and economic effects COVID-19 will impact on Africa. Present African leaders were advised to, immediately, shut their borders to prevent further spread of COVID-19, in the continent.
Obasanjo’s media assistant, Kehinde Akinyemi, released four paragraph statement, jointly signed by Olusegun Obasanjo; Festus Mogae, former Botswana president; and Hailemariam Desalegn, former Ethiopian Prime Minister. It is titled: “Appeal for preparations for Africa to confront the onslaught of COVID-19”.
The concerned former leaders, according to the statement said: “In the almost four months of the outbreak of COVID-19, we have seen the mitigation effect or otherwise by the preparatory and preventive actions made by different nations and international organisations to combat the killer virus.
“The results have been related to the seriousness of preparations and preventive measures taken, including the level of healthcare measures and delivery. The epidemiological progression in already affected areas has indicated that the worst case has yet to occur in Africa.
“Taking into account the weak healthcare bases in Africa, the conurbation and the communal living of our people, particularly in ghettos and poverty-stricken areas of our cities, the outbreak of COVID-19 in these areas of African communities and cities will be a monumental disaster.
“Serious measures have to be taken for containment and for addressing any national epidemic. We, as concerned African leaders, note the efforts that African governments are making within their limited resources to deal with this global challenge.
“We, however, appeal to leaders and the elite at national, regional and continental levels and to international organisations and foundations to draw up a concrete, effective, and continental emergency plan to combat COVID-19 onslaught at its crescendo in Africa which will be soon. With porous borders all over Africa.”