Greetings to all as we announce the birth of our publication, National Record, through its preview edition!
National Record is being born at a frightening and worrisome period in which the entire world has been gripped at the scruff of its neck by the ferocious novel virus Covid-19. Covid-19, also popularly known as Coronavirus, has since December 2019 been on the rampage. Although does not have regard for anyone, it seems to have up to now expressed far more disdain for the rich than the poor, the powerful than the weak, the scientifically and technologically advanced the third world. In spite of this, in every nation across the world, even in the very few that Covid is yet to step on, all hands have been on deck, with political leaders all reeling and scampering either to prevent or to heal.
As people are locked down in their homes waiting for good news, the battle is on in the labs of the ‘scientific world’, where eggheads, including our brethren who had been chased away by poor working conditions, are also locked down in the search for a potent portion, called vaccine, that will bind Covid-19.
In the heat of this race and chase; anxiety and lockdown, a global media riveted on the gripping tales of despair and probable economic doom, it is difficult to reflect on any other subject matter in Nigeria.
Nevertheless, for a medium whose mission is ideologically progressive, Coronavirus has an absorbing and compelling pull, even if it is obviously a mammoth enigma too complex to break down even by the well-established mainstream media. So, as you read, please bear this in mind as we explore marginal themes relative to survival challenges in our society!
Under the cover caption, “Nigeria: Beyond the Grim Spectre of Covid-19 Contagion,” we share brief perspectives on the handling or management of the pandemic. In “Presidential Task Force: The assurances versus reality,” we explore government’s promises and assurances against what citizens are really experiencing.
“Covid-19: Mere hurricane or harbinger of a revolution?,” makes some projections of post-pandemic scenarios, while “A Broadcast that evokes memories of coups d’état,” searches for meanings below President Buhari’s broadcast that received positive ratings from many Nigerians.
“Covid-19: Whither Organised Labour, Civil Society?” is a brief outlook on the non-inclusion of organised labour and civil society organisations in the national response on Covid-19. The short piece argues that the exclusion tends to run against the spirit of ILO’s Recommendation 205. Under this are sub-theme articles: three news reports based on two statements from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and one from the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
Of course, there were interventions from numerous progressively-minded CSOs, but here, we could only highlight two – those of ActionAid Nigeria and the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD).
It is our hope that these brief reflections may bring some balm to suit the pains from the lockdown.
Onah L. Iduh