COVID-19: Exercise Patient, President Buhari Tells Nigerians

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

President Muhammadu Buhari has pleaded with Nigerians to show more patients with his administration following measures adopted to contain the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

In a nationwide broadcast Monday night, he called on Nigerians to maintain personal hygiene and follow strictly the washing of hands and maintaining social distancing.

According to the President, any form of human rights abuse on Nigerians by any security outfit would not be tolerated, "We will not tolerate any abuse of human rights of our citizens", Buhari warned.

He commended security agencies in ensuring that government's directives on lockdown were obeyed, noting that protective kits would be distributed to them to ensure their safety.

He condole families who lost their loved ones to the global health pandemic since its outbreak in the country.

Hear him: "I am using this opportunity to express our deepest condolences to the families of all Nigerians that have lost their lives loved ones as a result of the COVID 19 Pandemic. This is our collective loss and we share in your grief".

He lamented the unfortunate development in Kano State over the deaths, disclosing that the federal government would deployed additional manpower to strengthen the state government's strategy with immediate effect, as the country has recorded 1273 cases across 32 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with 40 deaths.

According to President Buhari, "As we continue to streamline our response in the epicenters of Lagos and the FCT, I remain concerned about the unfortunate developments in Kano in recent days. Although an in-depth investigation is still ongoing, we have decided to deploy additional Federal Government human, material and technical resources to strengthen and support the State Government’s efforts. We will commence implementation immediately.

"In Kano, and indeed many of other States that are recording new cases, preliminary findings show that such cases are mostly from interstate travel and emerging community transmission", Buhari stated.

He also regretted the economic challenges faced by Nigerians in the period of the stay-at-home order by the federal and State governments as Nigerians have lost their businesses and brought economic shutdown.

"For the past four weeks, most parts of our country have been under either Federal Government or State Government lockdowns. As I mentioned earlier, these steps were necessary and overall, have contributed to slowing down the spread of COVID 19 in Nigeria.

"However, such lock downs have also come at a very heavy economic cost. Many of our citizens have lost their means of livelihoods. Many businesses have also shut down. No country can afford the full impact of a sustained lockdown while awaiting the development of vaccines or cures".

He stated that testing and contact tracing is one way to clampdown on persons who have had contacts with infected persons, adding that an overnight curfew, a ban on interstate travel, mandatory use of face masks and restriction on social and religion gathering would be sustain.

He maintained that lockdown in Lagos and Ogun states including the Federal Capital Territory would remain.

He said state governors may chose to adopt measures during the interstate travel lockdown base on what is peculiar to their states, while declaring a total Lockdown in Kano state for two weeks with immediate effect, "Governors may choose to amend adapt and expand based on their unique circumstances provided they maintain alignment with the guidelines issued aboveon public health and hygiene".

President Buhari, assured health workers who got infected in the line of duties of the federal government's support for them and their families.

"For those who got inffected on line of duties, the federal government will take responsibility for you and your families", Buhari assured.