Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has warned states that relaxing restriction protocols may reverse the agains recorded against the coronavirus (COVID-19) so far.
The warning followed the relaxation of the measures against coronavirus spread in some states, to allow the residents to celebrate Easter as well as for Friday’s Ju’mat service. The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, who briefed reporters in Abuja on Friday, appealed to state governors to be on the same page with the government at the center.
While decrying the action of some state governments to relax the measures earlier put in place to curtail the spread of coronavirus, Aliyu said, “We have noted that some states have started lifting the ban or relaxing containment protocols and this is really not the right time to do so – partly because we still have an ongoing pandemic which is global. It is also not the right time to do so because we could end up having real recrudescence of infections.” Aliyu reiterated that the pandemic is not just about Lagos, Abuja, and Ogun, adding that Nigerians and their leaders have various roles to play to win the fight against COVID-19 in the country.
“At this point, I am appealing to our local community leaders, religious and traditional leaders, as well as the state authorities to continue to support and encourage the public to maintain those protective measures that are important in getting on top of this infection,” he pleaded.
The national coordinator stated, “there is also a very strong need for the state governments to work in harmony and align with the Federal Government in our effort to deal with this pandemic. This pandemic is not just an Abuja or Lagos issue; it is a national issue.” The chairman of the Presidential Task Force on the control of the COVID -19 pandemic and Secretary to the Government Federation, Boss Mustapha, also speaking in the same vein, said the war can only be won if all tiers of government work together. He said: “I want to appeal to all subnational entities to recognize the serious nature of this situation and to synergize, so that together we can win the war. “We have one national response. It is expected that each and every subnational response should fit into the national response, so that we can collectively deploy our resources, strategies and our personnel to directly deal with this unseen and uncommon enemy.”