Office of the President has urged Nigerians continue observing the guidelines that were released to curtail further spread of Covid-19 in order to avert fresh lockdowns.
In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the presidency was worried of non-compliance reports on the regulation that makes mask wearing and observation of social distancing in public mandatory.
The presidential aide said President Muhammadu Buhari had introduced the order with best of intentions and not to punish the citizens.
What is the directive with the Nigerian COVID 19 lockdown situation:
The statement read: “The Buhari administration is most reluctant to lockdown the country and continues to emphasise the non-pharmaceutical measures and the only way to avert lockdowns is to observe these measures as put in place by the Presidential Task Force.”
“Nigerians have come a long way from the dreaded lockdown and the administration is unhappy about any prospects of bringing it back as many citizens will not have food on the table without venturing out on a day-to-day business.
“Nigerians are required to wear masks, wash hands regularly with soap and clean water, and keep safe distance with anybody not in your household, hoping that this will help check spread of COVID-19.
“Though vaccine availability is within reach, the propensity of the public for noncompliance weakens the fight against the virus.”
However, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr Muda Yusuf, said the country could not afford to shut down the economy. He said: “It is noteworthy that the government is not contemplating a complete lockdown. We do not have the capacity to manage the social and consequences of a complete lockdown. We cannot afford to shut down the economy.”
The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives said it supported lockdown plan by the Federal Government to stop continued rise in COVID-19 cases.
President of NANNM, AbdulRafiu Adeniji, said, “The Federal Government has the prerogative of protecting lives and property.
To me, anybody that tells the Federal Government not to lock down again must be able to enforce those principles of social distancing of use of masks, avoiding large gathering. If all those things can be complied with, there may not be need for lockdown.”