The appointment of President Muhammadu Buhari as the team lead of ECOWAS COVID-19 response in West Africa has generated mixed reactions from Nigerians.
Buhari’s appointment was confirmed in a statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina. He disclosed that the decision was reached at an extraordinary summit held by video conference on Thursday.
“ECOWAS leaders at an extraordinary summit held by video conference have appointed President Muhammadu Buhari as champion that will coordinate the COVID-19 response in the sub-region. All the other Presidents will be available to support President Buhari.” the statement read.
However, Buhari appointment was heavily criticized as many said the President had not displayed the right leadership qualities like other World leaders combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, in a series of tweets said Buhari’s appointment by ECOWAS was a mistake as he can can “barely manage himself”.
The greatest mistake that the ECOWAS leaders have made is to appoint @MBuhari as the leader of the fight against Covid 19. This is a cataclysmic error which they will deeply regret. He can barely manage himself & now you ask him to manage a sub-region of 400 million people?
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) April 24, 2020
Fani-Kayode also warned that ECOWAS will regret the appointment given to Buhari because ‘it was an error’.
Also, the Convener of Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, who had earlier called for Buhari’s resignation over his ‘absence’ from the front of the fight against COVID-19 also condemned ECOWAS for appointing Buhari as its team lead.
The ECOWAS that appointed a coward hiding under his bed as head of COVID-19 pandemic is doomed forever. No wonder the region looks like a dilapidated building. How can you see the Ghanaian President then put clueless Buhari to be in charge of anything?
— Comrade Deji Adeyanju (@adeyanjudeji) April 24, 2020
ECOWAS names Buhari COVID19 champion
Over 70,000 #COVID19 tests conducted
Drones are delivering #COVID19 tests
A little over 8,000 #COVID19 tests conducted
Samples are carried over long distance by vehicles
The romanticization of failure in ECOWAS
— nafiiu (@nafeezi) April 23, 2020
Ecowas nominated Buhari Sinzu as champion, someone that talks to his citizens every 14days just for #lockdownextension and to say gibberish, you can’t defend this clowns, it’s just impossible to defend them.
— ℙ𝔸ℙ𝕀 ( at 🏠) (@mrrebelxo) April 23, 2020
ECOWAS keep displaying to the world that Africans are not ready to do what's right for our own development
— Majek Fashek (@ij_kush) April 23, 2020
Buhari selected by ECOWAS as Covid19 champion. To lead response in the sub region.
Like inviting MC Oluomo to give a speech in Unilag. You know he ain't saying shit that makes sense but he's dropping coins.
— Babasola Kuti #SaveLives (@RealSolaKuti) April 23, 2020
If ECOWAS were looking for a real response to COVID-19, the Ghanaian President, Kuffour would have been the CHAMPION of the said response.
But since the Presidents are all busy, they needed someone to sit by the computer and take calls. Hence their choice.
— Riel One (@Gabrielapogee) April 24, 2020
President Buhari had only addressed the nation twice since the COVID-19 pandemic was recorded in Nigeria in February. He has been largely criticized by countrymen for not keeping up with media appearances to address issues relating to the pandemic.
So far, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 108 new COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, 78 were recorded in Lagos, 14 in FCT, This brings the new total number of confirmed cases to 981 and 31 deaths.