Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, has denied media reports which quoted him as describing COVID-19 as a sham.
Nwajiuba said it would be out of place for him to describe the pandemic as a sham when he had been appointed a member of the Presidential Task Force charged with the responsibility of fashioning our national response to the containment of the disease. He said he only submitted a proposal from his ministry on strategies on how to reopen schools without endangering the lives of Nigeria’s children. He stated that he never made the comment credited to him in the course of his presentation at the National Assembly on June 23.
The minister said no responsible member of the PTF would make such a statement bearing in mind the enormous responsibility the president and the nation had bestowed on the group.
Nwajiuba noted that COVID-19 was real and required concerted actions from all and sundry to tackle. He added that his ministry had been working assiduously with other agencies of government at all levels to see how the pandemic could be contained. He wondered why anybody would say the disease never existed when over nine million people all over the world had already been infected.
Nwajiuba advised journalists to check their facts before rushing to the press in order not to embarrass individuals who are making sacrifices for the nation and humanity. He opined that in journalism “facts are sacred and comments are free.”
Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a former member of the House of Representatives, Chidi Nwogu described the comment credited to the minister as “mischievous.”
He implored journalists to be conscious of the responsibility they owe the public in their duties. He added that the report on Nwajiuba was fake and should be disregarded.