President Muhammadu Buhari has told Nigerians to remain calm, cautioning that panic over news of the first case of Covid-19 in the country, would only cause undue alarm and do more harm than good.
Buhari said rather than panic, Nigerians should strictly observe the advisories disseminated by the Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation (WHO), on the best way to prevent infection.
“This information is being broadcast in all available media by the Federal Ministry of Information,” he said.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement, said Buhari expressed sadness over the confirmed case despite preparedness and response measures put in place in the country’s borders and beyond.
He, however, commended the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies whose diligence and efficiency enabled the case to be detected, diagnosed and isolated quickly, even while swift measures were taken to identify and follow up on those with whom the index patient came into contact.
He also commended the responses of the Federal Ministry of Health and Governments of Lagos and Ogun States as well as other relevant agencies to the reported incident and calls for vigilance on the part of all citizens and responsible government agencies.
This came shortly after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed worries that President Buhari had nor addressed Nigerians over the issue.
In a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said Buhari’s silence showed him as a failed as a leader.
“PDP is worried at President Muhammadu Buhari’s delay in standing up to the responsibilities of his office to address heightening national anxieties since the detection of the deadly COVID-19 in our country,” the statement read.
The party described as “absolute leadership failure that Mr. President has not considered it imperative to show concern by directly addressing a panic-stricken nation even in the face of escalated national trepidation and conflicting reports.”
“The PDP charges President Buhari to wake up and treat the COVID-19, deservedly, as a looming national disaster, which requires a prompt and full presidential involvement at the top level.”