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Int’l security in COVID-19 era can only be achieved through solidarity and cooperation: Nigeria ambassador

(People's Daily Online)    13:10, May 15, 2020

Baba Ahmad Jidda, Nigerian Ambassador to China. (Photo/China Daily)

China’s responses to COVID-19 are “exemplary” and have prevented the spread of the virus both inside and outside the country, said Baba Ahmad Jidda, Nigerian Ambassador to China.

In an exclusive interview with People’s Daily Online, the ambassador praised China’s fight against the virus as well as its contribution to global efforts to bring the pandemic under control, calling for strengthened cooperation, solidarity and mutual respect in the international community, instead of fuelling discrimination and stigmatization.

“China has put in place rigorous and comprehensive measures, such as the total lockdown of Wuhan and the entire Hubei province,” he said, adding that the measures have so far been very successful, with low numbers of deaths and high numbers of recovered cases reported in China.

The cheering news of the upcoming opening of the “Two Sessions,” China’s most important annual political events, shows that the challenges brought by the pandemic in China have been overcome, he noted.

In Nigeria, the ambassador said only two states, Kogi and Cross River, have not reported cases of COVID-19 infections, but the remaining 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have recorded increasing numbers of confirmed cases due to the expansion and establishment of more testing centers in the country.

While Nigeria has put in place strict measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic, some challenges remain, he said, citing examples of difficulty in enforcing compliance with prevention and control measures and shortage of testing kits and other medical supplies, especially Personal Protective Equipment.

The envoy highly commended China’s contribution to the global fight against the epidemic, such as the support shown by the Chinese government, companies and businessmen to Nigeria and other African countries during the outbreak.

“China has not only donated medical supplies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa and other regions across the globe but has also dispatched medical experts to several countries, including Nigeria, to share its experiences in confronting the dreaded disease,” he said, noting that the support has gone a long way in boosting the ability of the recipient countries to effectively fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

With virus-related discrimination and stigmatization on the rise, the ambassador called upon the international community to shun discrimination and stigmatization as “they only help the virus rather than mankind.”

Instead of focusing on the question of compensation or playing blame games, we should explore ways of promoting global solidarity in times like this, he said. Moreover, misinformation is counterproductive to the global efforts to bring the pandemic under control.

On the subject of further cooperation between Nigeria and the international community, the ambassador said Nigeria has set up an Economic Sustainability Committee to establish programmes aimed at overcoming the impact of the pandemic.

“Further cooperation between Nigeria and the international community is pivotal to achieving Nigeria’s objective of economic diversification. This could be achieved through the completion of ongoing critical infrastructural projects such as power, road and railway in the country,” he said.

These projects, he added, were mostly supported by the Chinese government through the mechanism of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and Belt and Road Initiative.

On the subject of the global impact of the outbreak, Jidda said the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing a change in the way many observers and international scholars think about international security.

“It has shown that true international security can only be achieved through solidarity and cooperation, as no nation is an island,” Jidda said, adding that the international political and economic order must be steered towards global cooperation, solidarity and mutual respect.

“These are the principles that Nigeria, and indeed Africa, stand for. These are the principles that have allowed human societies to endure against all odds,” he added. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Bianji)

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