Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has again pleaded with Nigerians to stay at home for the government to successfully flatten the curve of Coronavirus pandemic.
The president in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, thanked Nigerians for their patience, resolve and strong determination to defeat the disease outbreak, stressing that the country would get out of the woods sooner than expected with their cooperation.
“We realize that today, there will be sons and daughters unable to visit their parents, and elders that are isolated from young ones. And there will be those who live day-to-day, eating as they earn, who face real and present suffering.
“No elected government could ask more of the citizens of the country that elected them than today we ask of you. But we must ask you, once more, to observe restrictions on movement where they are in place, and follow the instructions of our scientists and medical advisers: stay home, wash your hands, save lives.
“The freedoms we ask you to willingly forsake today will only last as long as our scientific advisers declare they are necessary. But they are essential, world over, to halt and defeat the spread of this virus.
“For those who suffer most egregiously, the government has announced multiple measures to assist: 70,000 tons of grain is being released from the National Strategic Grain Reserves for distribution to those in most need; distribution of small cash payments are also being made, and will continue to be made by the Federal Government in the states and local government areas.
“We ask you to listen and follow public announcements via the mass media for instructions as to how to receive this government support – and learn of more public assistance in the coming days.
“All that the government is asking you to endure is because nowhere in the world today is there any known way of defeating this pandemic. There is no vaccine. And that means there are choices to be made: between continuing as usual or accepting the restrictions even when they come with unintended consequences,” the president said.