Several Nigerian media organisations and the Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank have launched an initiative to name and shame duty bearers and citizens in influential positions who brazenly disregard the Covid-19 public safety protocols.
The Name and Shame Initiative will highlight the non-compliance of newsmakers by not covering events or denying media coverage of events where participants do not comply with the Health Protection Regulations and spotlighting defaulters in the media.
The collaboration between the foundation and the media comes amid claims of an appalling disregard for public safety protocols by duty bearers and people in influential positions as the country battles a second wave and more infectious strains of the coronavirus.
Recently, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Covid-19 Health Protection Regulations (2021) aimed at ensuring citizens adhere to public health advice around controlling the spread of Covid-19.
“It is detailed and if adhered to, will go a long way towards protecting us from the second wave and the more infectious strains of the virus,” a statement signed by the Chairman of the Foundation Atedo Peterside and vice-chairman, Abubakar Mohammed read.
“However, we note with concern that these regulations are being openly flouted.
“While there is room for mass communication of the regulations – which mainly reiterate the popular, global advice about managing the pandemic (avoiding crowds, physical distancing, washing hands, wearing masks etc.) – we note that duty bearers and people in influential positions are particularly egregious in their disregard for public safety protocols.
“In furtherance of our objectives to promote behavioural change around managing the pandemic and ensuring effective stakeholder response to Covid-19, the Anap Think Tank announces our collaboration with the media to launch a Name and Shame Initiative.
“The Name and Shame Initiative will highlight the non-compliance of newsmakers by (i) not covering events or denying media coverage of events where participants do not comply with the Health Protection Regulations and (ii) spotlighting defaulters in the media.
“So far, the following media houses have agreed to join this initiative: Arise TV, Businessday Newspaper, Channels TV, Classic FM, Daily Trust Newspaper, Premium Times, TheCable, The Nation, This Day Newspaper and Vanguard Newspaper.
“We encourage all other media houses to consider signing up to join our Name and Shame Initiative.
“We must continue to act clever and take every opportunity to protect ourselves, our neighbours and our country. We cannot afford another lockdown, but we can also not afford to act like we are not in the middle of a global pandemic that has already claimed 2 million lives globally.
“Follow the Regulations. Mask up. Stay Safe. Remain well and alive.”
By Abel Ejikeme