By YSO Olaniyi
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has described the non disclosure of the identity of the Ibadan based company where fifty-seven workers tested positive for coronavirus as ‘unserious approach’ of the Oyo State government at curtailing the spread of the virus.
The party tasked the state leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and United Labour Congress (ULC) to come up with a list of demands for adequate protection of workers in private and public sectors across the state.
Part of the statement reads, ‘we are worried by the relatively unserious approach of the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government towards the containment of COVID-19 spread in the State and its refusal to disclose the identity of the affected company”.
“To us in SPN there can never be a better way to allay the fear already created by this bad news than to publicly disclose the identity of the affected company. Otherwise, the Government’s refusal to do so will continue to create undue room for rumor and an atmosphere of panic among the poor working people of Oyo State’.
“It is also dangerous to the public health of the State as the Governor continues to hide the identity of the affected company because individuals who might have recently interacted with the company and that 57 workers may not yet be aware of the possibility of them being already infected with COVID-19 by now, let alone being conscious of the need to subject themselves to the necessary precautions recommended for potential individuals with COVID-19 infection”
The SPN stressed that to conduct an effective contact tracing while the Government keeps hiding the identity of the affected company would no doubt be extremely difficult that is if at all is going to be possible.
“SPN recognises the fact that the fear of stigmatization and other possible consequences like decline in the patronage and profit margin of this undisclosed company could have been the basis for the Governor to have chosen to conceal the identity of the company. As much as this kind of economic excuse is notable, we of the SPN reject such confidentiality in the government’s handling of public health emergency of this magnitude. We strongly hold that public health must not be sacrified on the altar of corporarte profit. It is in the light of this that we demand that the identity of the affected company must be unveiled without further delay” the statement concluded.