Coronavirus: Presidency berates Senate for asking Buhari to address Nigerians

The presidency has called out the Senate over its recent call on President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians amid the global coronavirus crisis.

The Senate had on Wednesday demanded that the president breaks his continued silence over the outbreak of the virus in the country.

But reacting in statement on Thursday, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, accused the lawmakers of trying to politicise the issue.

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He said: “Populist advocacies such as the one accusing the President of ‘complacency’ simply because he has not made a television address by ranking members of our respected parliament are cheap and sensational. These are not the times for populism and cheap politics.

“North, South, East, and West – all Nigerians must unite to fight this plague, irrespective of religious or ideological affiliation.

“We also plead with Nigerians not to see this most peculiar of times as one to be politicised or seen as an opportunity to regurgitate grudges against the government or the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).”

He said the measures taken so far including restricting travel from 13 countries were indicative of Buhari administration’s drive to combat the pandemic.

Shehu continued: “The Presidency wishes to assure Nigerians that government is on top of the situation. There is no cause for panic. So far measures put in place are working efficiently. What this country is doing has been recommended as a template.

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“The President trusts the relevant Ministers in his cabinet and the officials of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), who are providing him with constant updates and professional counsel. These officials have a track record of competence.

“We do not want to create panic. But we will continue to update the Nigerian public with relevant information. We plead with every Nigerian to cooperate with the government in the fight against Covid-19 and obey all instructions from the NCDC.”

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