By Gena Lubem
In order to contribute its quota towards containing the spread of the coronavirus disease (covid-19) pandemic, the National Association of Retired Paramilitary Officers (NARPO) has expressed readiness to deploy its activated 10,000 members as volunteers.
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Coordinator, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba dropped this hint in Abuja on Monday.
According to Prof. Adesoji, the covid-19 is a global pandemic that is threatening entire human existence and all hands must be on the deck to contain it.
While appreciating the measures so far taken by the government to control the disease, Prof. Adesugba also emphasised on the need for the government to mobilise all resources and deploy them to rescue not just Lagos and the FCT residents from the monstrous effects of the pandemic but the entire country.
He noted that, as retired paramilitary officers who have worked on several missions both within and outside Nigeria, their services are of great bearing in coordinated attempts to roll back the disease.
Responding to a question, he said the members of the NARPO are drawn from the Immigration, Customs and Prison services and have been active in issues the respective focal areas.
In his words:
“The number of infections and the rate at which is is affecting people indiscriminately has called a massive mobilisations of all sectors of the society.
“As a responsible organisation, we will not fold our hands and simply watch our country drop into oblivion by a foreign disease that is now afflicting large number of people across the length and breadth of the nation. We must act. And do so fast too.
“The the declaration of the disease by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a pandemic, we have carefully followed the trend and pattern with keen interest. In the course too, we spoke seriously about and have resolved that we must help to salvage the situation.
“Towards this, our 10,000 strong membership has been mobilised and are standing by to be deployed to help in tackling this challenge. We have resolved to do this is a patriotic manner using the volunteering model. Our services are open for utilization by the Nigerian government, the international organisations in Nigeria, our former constituency, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other public spirited individuals.
“Our experience in different aspects of national issues have now beckoned on us to embark on this mission that is backed with a vision. All hands must be on the deck to contain this disease”, Prof. Adesugba maintained.
He said their roles will cut across several thematic areas such as sensitisation, enforcement, evacuation, advocacy, mass mobilisation and other forms of services as the case may arise.