Stay At Home: Looking Beyond Our Privilege (COVID-19) – Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman
For some weeks now, the pandemic, COVID-19, had been on the headlines, filled the social media, with many people scrambling to get the latest gist as in, the new confirmed cases, the recovered cases as we all the new number of deaths.
In an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, different countries have taken stringent measures. There have been lockdowns, people asked to work from and remain at home. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford the luxury of what it seems to take curb the spread of the virus.
Taking Nigeria as a case study, if we neglect the fact that there are many houses with two rooms and 6 or more occupants, how about the face-me-I-face you apartments where about 10 or more people have to share toilets and those who do not have access to running water?
The average Nigerian feeds from hand to mouth. Yesterday, I shared on my Whatsapp status the story of two orphans I had to take in for four days before asking them to, unfortunately, go. Took them in because I can afford to provide more food than money. Struggling siblings, the older one who struggles to feed both cannot work as the boss closed the office in compliance with the #stayathome order.
Tearful for me, tearful for them, they had to go back to where they rented with no hope of how to feed. AlhamduliLlah, two people sent in tokens. May Allah reward them. Aameen. These two orphans portray the real-life situation of the average Nigerian.
This morning, a brother told me about his neighbors who are road-side sellers. They cannot eat unless they sell. Now that they cannot sell, what happens?
CALL TO RESPONSIBILITY
While the Nigerian Government may be doing its best, experience tells us that we cannot totally rely on the Government in this situation for a population of about 200 million people. Rather, I encourage that we follow the Islamic and Humanitarian tradition of the distribution of wealth.
While all arguments may be valid, I have tried to understand why Americans are going for ammo compared to issues in Europe. There would be an increase in hunger, consequently, an increase in crime. In Nigeria, we pray against a year of great hunger and depression though a global recession seems to be inevitable.
If care is not taken, in Nigeria, people will die in their houses and crime will become very significant if Nigerians have to really stay at home. Many can stay at home but working from home is inexistent. To prevent this, we need to take the distribution of wealth seriously instead of placing the burden on the Government alone. Like it or not, we all would be at the receiving end of the social disorder that would erupt from the stay at home order.
NGOs and individuals are beseeched to take this seriously. Many around us are in need of food. This is the time to look beyond or religions, tribes, political affiliations and stand up for humanity.
The KnowIslam Project aims to play her own part in reaching to the poor during the #stayathome season. You can reach the poor through us by sending your donations to;
Account number: 0113094562 UNION BANK (KnowIslam Project)
Add description as: ‘Relief to the Poor (COVID-19)’
May Allah protect us from the virus and its eradication. Aameen
Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman ( KnowIslam Project – Knowislam.com.ng)