When the ravaging and rampaging Covid-19 pandemic broke out in Nigeria sometimes in February 2020, nobody, no institution, not even the World Health Organization (WHO), knew how far-reaching the devastating and debilitating effects of the invisible killer, which has claimed many lives and grounded the economy, could be. Nigeria has not rested on its oars in the face of the pandemic. It has devised many ways for its citizens to stay safe and stay afloat.
PHASE I: THE FEAR AND PANIC OF COVID-19
When it saw the rapidity with which the wind of the ugly virus was spreading and the attendant panic, confusion and uncertainty, the Federal Government of Nigeria on Friday, March 20, 2020 ordered the closure of all educational institutions in the country with effect from Monday, March 23, 2020; imposed a complete stay-at-home regime and limited the number of worshipers in church and mosque services to as low as between 20 and 50. All schools in the country sent home their students in compliance with the government directive.
At the most elementary level, Covid-19, which has created conditions, crises and controversies, has improved the personal hygiene of the global community as most people of the world not only wash their hands with soap and clean water regularly, many are seen wearing face masks, while many have imbibed the new culture of social distancing and self-quarantine whenever the need arises.
PHASE II: COVID-19: GRADUAL RELAXATION ON PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT
The prevalence of the pandemic assumed a more frightening dimension when all the 36 State Governors in the country unanimously agreed on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 to a partial lock down in all the 36 states of the country including the Federal Capital Territory. That was how serious the government perceived the matter to be. The lock down remained in force until June 4, 2020 when a modicum of gradual relaxation was happily introduced.
When our students were compulsorily at home, you were not only on our mind, our mind was with you all. We remained on campus to make the best out of the cataclysm and catastrophe as well as preparing for your eventual and much expected return to our campus.
There is a season for everything under the heavens, a gradual relaxation of the hitherto stringent measures of no movement and social distancing was announced on June 4, 2020 with a promise by the Federal Government to look into probable opening of state borders and hopefully the opening of the educational institutions that have been under lock and key since March 23, 2020.
But then, how do we adjust to the “new normal situation”?
PHASE III: THE HARD WAY TO LEARN
It is highly imperative that we have to live with what we have imbibed during the past three months; the huge lessons Covid-19 has taught us about the importance of personal hygiene, social distancing, the need to ensure that our environment is sparkling clean and our attitudes are changed. That was the essence of a subject known as Hygiene, a compulsory Subject in the elementary schools in the past.
On our part, as leaders, we are committed to protect the lives of our students, teachers and workers in ABUAD community from Coronavirus. We will ensure that we carry this out to the letter because our word is our bond.We believe fervently that it is not by locking the students up in their various homes alone that we can keep a dynamic young generation safe.
As a clear and undeniable demonstration that you are on our mind and that we will do everything legal, legitimate and moral within our powers to ensure our students safety and wellbeing, while in the University the Founder procured the following equipment:
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine;
- Coronavirus test kits for antigen testing;
- RNA Extraction kits;
- Naso-pharygeal swab sticks and liquid medium;
- Biosafety Cabinet;
- Accessories like Micropipettes, among others.
You have been home for almost three months now, courtesy of Covid-19. I believe that you must have been enriched with wisdom. With the gradual relaxation and the high expectation that the University will soon be bubbling with our dear students, on behalf of our Founder and Chancellor, Aare Afe Babalola, OFR, CON, SAN, his wife, Yeye Aare Modupe Babalola, and the entire University, I want to let you know once again that we miss you and care for you all.
We are eagerly waiting to receive you all back on the serene campus of your University in the heartland of Ado-Ekiti.
Prof. E. Smaranda Olarinde, FCArb, FCAI.
Ag. Vice Chancellor