Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has said 78 per cent of Nigerians in a poll conducted by West Africa’s number one polling services, NOI Polls, are in support of the lockdown order as an appropriate measure for fighting the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed made this disclosure during Thursday’s edition of the daily media briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the COVID-19 pandemic in Abuja.
Mohammed was reacting to allegations that the Ministry of Information has usurped the duties of National Orientation Agency (NOA), hence its failure to adequately enlighten Nigerians on the pandemic.
While describing the allegation as ‘fake news’, he said the polls put the level of awareness of the outbreak among Nigerians at 99 per cent.
Mohammed said the polls were obtained from the communications office of the British Prime Minister, confirming its authenticity.
“The allegation that the Ministry of Information or the PTF, particularly the National Orientation Agency (NOA) is not doing enough to sensitise and enlighten Nigerians about COVID-19, is fake news and it’s fake news and I have the independent polls conducted by the NOIPolls, which is the most credible company in the whole of West Africa for this kind of poll, which was also sent to us by the UK Prime Minister’s Communication Office, which is partnering with us, and the result is this:
“It says 99 per cent of Nigerians say they are aware of COVID-19. Six per cent of Nigerians say it is not real and this six per cent is broken down to North West, four per cent; North East, eight per cent; North Central, five per cent; South West, three per cent, South East, 10 per cent and; South-South 12 per cent.
“The poll also said 28 per cent of Nigerians said they are immuned to COVID-19 and the reasons they gave are as follows: 42 per cent of them said ‘I believe in God. 35 per cent of them said ‘I follow preventive measures’. 11 per cent of them said ‘I’m a black person’. Five per cent of them said ‘hot weather will not allow it to infect me’, while four per cent of them said ‘I eat good food’.
“The poll also went down to ask Nigerians ‘do you see the FG’s decision to lockdown FCT, Lagos Ogun as correct?’. 18 per cent said ‘it’s too extreme’, 78 per cent said ‘it’s appropriate’, while five per cent said ‘not sufficient.’”
“If you want more information, I will give you, but I tell you this is from NOI Polls, so all these allegations that there’s not enough public enlightenment is fake news”, he said.