COVID-19: Senate urges Buhari to address the nation

The Senate has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to personally address Nigerians on the issue of COVID-19 ravaging the world.

The Senate made the call on Wednesday during plenary under order 42 and 52 on the motion to ‘Recognise and treat the pandemic with more urgency and as a national security threat’ moved by Sen. Danjuma Goje (APC-Gombe).

“Although this issue of Coronavirus was briefly discussed by the Senate on Tuesday through the order of Sen. Oluremi Tinubu (APC-Lagos), given the gravity of this issue worldwide, there is a need for this senate to extensively discuss this issue and allow our colleagues to contribute so as to give advice to the government and Nigerians.

“I believe that Lagos,  Ogun  and the Federal Government have been able to contain the virus  to a large extent.

“Big and powerful countries of the world like the U.S and Europe are taking drastic measures to either contain or prevent Coronavirus from spreading to their countries.

“Even countries without incidents are taking drastic measures to prevent it; even in Africa, countries like Senegal, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya are taking serious measures to protect their citizens. So I think it is high time we do same thing here,” he said.

He added:”I believe that we as a country are also obliged to do something more serious than what we have done so far.

“Even though we think we do not have this problem here, with only three cases in Lagos, but the thing blows so fast; America’s case started from one, to two, to three, now this morning it has been announced that all the 50 states in the U.S have been affected.

 “Mr President, I commend the federal government, they are doing very well; if you come into the country through  the airport, you have to fill certain forms to disclose your address, telephone number and contact information, your next of kin, so you can be traced, and they check people’s temperature.

“That is not enough, this country must re-mobilise, it has to do like other countries are doing, so that we can protect our citizens better.

“Senate should call on the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari to personally address this issue, other presidents have been doing that.

“If the President comes out personally to address this issue, I think Nigerians will take this matter more seriously.

“The Minister of Health has been coming out almost daily, talking about this to Nigerians, but I think there is need for Mr President to come out personally and do that.”

Goje went ahead to list  other measures which would go a long way to help in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, there is a need for the federal government to take more drastic measures than what it has done.

“Some of such measures should include, but should not be limited to travel bans; outright banning of some countries from coming into Nigeria.

“Restrictions of large gatherings, tighter border controls, stringent checking of people coming into the country; including mandatory 14 days quarantine.

“And also any other measure the Federal Government deems fit to take so as to control the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

Goje also urged the federal government and Nigerians to keep abreast of all emerging  and developments related to the issue and gave assurances that the senate would give full support to government in fighting Coronavirus in the country. (NAN)