COVID Tales from Kano State

Today marks Day 5 of the Lagos Lockdown. Today would be the first time I would step out of the house. I needed to buy data.

On entering the area, the security man was greeted by an “Aboki”. The “Aboki” was entering the estate to buy scrap metal. When asked by the security guard why he wasn’t observing the lockdown, he would provide insight into the perception of the average Nigerian on the Coronavirus.

The man I met is from Kano State. He told me that although the governor gave a directive in the state, prayers are still ongoing. As a result of this, people come from Kaduna state where prayers have stopped to pray in Kano state.

The Imam of Kano state argued that he was yet to meet anyone who had been infected by the Coronavirus. With the reputation of the average Northerner for violence, any attempt to disrupt the prayers would end in violence.

The “Aboki” believes that the Coronavirus is just a way to steal money. He mentioned all the donations made and the fact that they had already been stolen.

Then he dropped the bomb: “What does the government do for me?” At that point, I was flabbergasted. I didn’t have a response. I just shook his hand and walked away.

At that moment, I realised that the average Nigerian sees hunger, poverty, and Malaria as a bigger threat to his life than the Coronavirus.