One of Nollywood’s top actresses, Funke Akindele-Bello and South Africa’s Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams (and an ex deputy minister) court trouble and get in a big way when they posted their defiance of the lockdown laws in their respective countries on the internet – as if defiance should be celebrated.
Ndabeni-Abrahams was exposed for having lunch on Sunday with former deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana, violating a government ban on social activity until April 16 imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, these are societal role models who should rather hide their sins than throw it in the public face, whilst they preach that the public must be responsible.
The Lagos State Police Command arrested Akindele for allegedly hosting a birthday party for her hubby at her home in Ibeju-Lekki during coronavirus lockdown. They posted the video online by themselves.
The Nigerian actress and her hubby were found guilty of violating a ban on all types of gatherings in the state put in place by the government in order to curb the spread of Coronavirus. Delivering his judgment, the presiding magistrate ordered them to serve 14 days community service and pay a fine of N100,000 each.
In South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has cracked the whip against the audacious Communications Minister for violating a government-imposed lockdown, putting her on special leave for two months and docking a month’s pay but the citizens say she has been treated with kid gloves – though she has tendered an apology.
Manana apologised for posting a photograph of the meeting: “It was irresponsible to post a picture without giving clear context and thereby creating the impression that it was a social lunch. For this, I profusely apologise.”
Social media users were outraged when Manana posted the picture of the two not observing lockdown regulations.
Recently, social media addiction has put lost of people into trouble – a few people who defied lockdown globally got arrested when they post their disobedience online. It begs the question: are they ignorant or are just vain attention-seekers.
South African Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said Ramaphosa disapproves of the minister’s actions, which undermined the requirement that all citizens stay at home and save SA from the spread of the coronavirus.
Diko said the president accepted the minister’s apology for the violation but was unmoved by mitigating factors she tendered and the law should take its course.
On Tuesday, Manana (the minister’s friend) released a statement in which he tried to defend Ndabeni-Abrahams, saying that the minister arrived at his house to pick up personal protective equipment (PPE) for students who were working on Covid-19 digital services. He and his family were about to sit down to a meal and invited her to join them.
The President remains adamant that Ramaphosa nationwide lockdown called for absolute compliance on the part of all South Africans and members of the executive carried a special responsibility in setting an example.