The Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, has compared the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic to the Black Death (also known as the Pestilence), regarded as the most devastating pandemic recorded in human history.
The monarch said the only difference between the Black Death and COVID-19 was that while the former did not spread across all parts of the world, the latter did.
The Black Death, which took place in the 14th century, was said to have originated in Asia, spreading to Europe through the Mediterranean Basin and killing between 75 and 125 million people in Europe, Asia and North Africa.
It reportedly took 200 years for Europe’s population to recover to its previous level while some regions did not recover until the 19th century.
Speaking in a statement, Ewuare II asked the people of Edo State to apply precautionary measures and comply with the government’s guidelines to prevent the COVID-19 spread.
According to the statement, the monarch, who is the Chairman of the Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, said this during a recent visit to Government House to assess the government’s response to COVID-19.
He said, “The coronavirus is even more than what they used to call the Black Death in Europe in those days, just that it (the Black Death) wasn’t global; but COVID-19 is global and not limited to any region.
“Although we have our government both at the state and federal levels trying to allay our fears over the pandemic, it’s really very dreadful. You have to be very cautious; be scared of this virus.”
“If schools and businesses are being closed in Nigeria and institutions are shutting down in the United States, United Kingdom and other developed countries of the world; if Nigeria is banning travel from European countries that used to be our supposed greener pasture, where our people used to run to for better lives, then this is a very serious matter,” he added.