By OBINNA EZUGWU
The presidency on Thursday, lashed out at members of the upper legislative chamber, the senate who asked President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians in a television broadcast over the Coronavirus pandemic.
This is even as the number of confirmed cases of the virus has climbed to 12 as at Thursday.
Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, who responded to the senators’ request in a statement, accused them of playing cheap politics.
According to Shehu, it was time for all Nigerians to unite against COVID-19 as there was not the time to attack Buhari or the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He pointed out that that the government had rolled out plans to mitigate the effect of the virus, including the reduction of petrol pump price from N145 to N125 per litre, as well the N1.1tn fund approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria to assist businesses.
“We also plead with Nigerians not to see this most peculiar of times as one to be politicised or seen as an opportunity to regurgitate grudges against the government or the ruling All Progressives Congress. North, South, East, and West – all Nigerians must unite to fight this plague, irrespective of religious or ideological affiliation,” Shehu said.
“In this regard, populist advocacies such as the one accusing the President of ‘complacency’ simply because he has not made a television address by ranking members of our respected parliament are cheap and sensational. These are not the times for populism and cheap politics.”
The Senate had on Wednesday called on President Buhari to address Nigerians on the rising case of coronavirus in the country, while urging the federal government to shut down all international airports except the Lagos and Abuja airports for easier monitoring of the disease.