The Vice Chairman, Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases, Senator Sadiq Umar, has said that the COVID-19 pandemic has made some stubborn husbands to behave properly with their wives.
He said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the 34th joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
He was speaking on a question on the outdated Mental Health And Illness Bill.
Umar said, “We have demonstrated that enough and I tell you something, even if you don’t want to do that, you know there is a new Sheriff in town now, it is called Oga Corona, COVID-19. Even stubborn husbands have been made to behave now with their wives and families.”
Speaking on the bill, the Senator said, “I can tell you authoritatively that this Senate is aware of how antiquated mental illness laws are so as at today, Distinguished Senator Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe has sponsored a new robust Mental Illness Bill that has passed the First Reading, it has passed the Second Reading and it is referred to the Committee for the final preparations for passage.
“Unfortunately, with COVID-19 we can’t have public hearing, but as soon as we can have public hearing, this law will be passed expeditiously. Interestingly, mental illness is also important to us in the Senate that another Distinguished Senator, Senator Shettima brought another bill on mental illness. It’s passed the First Reading and about to go for the Second Reading.
“Be rest assured that mental illness concerns will be robustly taken care of by this National Assembly. However, let me say that laws alone will not solve our mental illness problem. Mental illness is a multidimensional issue: emotional, economic and superstitions and society has a role to play, good governance has a role to play in it.”
He said the Senate at their meeting resolved that the nation need to be more aggressive, need to be more courageous in dealing with COVID-19 because the virus is here and it is going to be around for a long period.
He added, “We can’t continue to run away, we have to take courageous decisions. However, we will not take decisions so quickly without considering science and data and as scanty as data is so far, what is available is good enough for our scientists and we have a lot of them working with this team.
“They should play around with the data and tell us what’s going on. We know what the morbidity and mortality are saying so far. We need to open this country, but slowly, carefully and scientifically and we will do that so that the damage that COVID-19 is causing, economically nobody can quantify it, may be the morbidity and mortality we experiencing in Nigeria.
“Even if the government opens, the enforcement can best be carried out by taking responsibility. Citizens, you wash your hands, you social distance, you wear face masks. This is a life we’ll have to live for a long time to come.
“I expect a cultural revolution. COVID-19 should bring that culture revolution, which is for example like say social distance. We love parties, wedding ceremonies and these cost us billions of naira. Please let’s stop this for some time and reinvest that money in education and health. Those who are rich and powerful already have enough money for their education and health. Please, reinvest that for the masses,” the Senator said.