COVID-19: House Minority Leader Calls for Extra Vigilance


*Niger PDP to distribute educative fliers

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja and Laleye Dipo in Minna

Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, has called for extra vigilance and aggressive multi-sectoral collaboration in order to curb the dreaded Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

This is coming as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Niger State has said it would soon distribute hand fliers in major Nigerian languages to educate the people on how to prevent the dreaded Coronavirus disease.

The minority leader, in a statement yesterday, also called for a multi-layered collaborative effort involving healthcare, transport and border control agencies, schools, faith-based and community organisations as well as other social service delivery outlets to step up awareness and control interventions to effectively check the spread of the disease.

Elumelu said: “The COVID-19 will be checked. I encourage Nigerians not to despair, but brace up to the challenge by strictly following the instructions, directions and advisory on safety and control measures issued by relevant agencies.”

The minority leader, however, described the confirmation of COVID-19 in the country as a national challenge which required an accelerated collaborative effort by all government agencies, the organised private sector and all individual Nigerians to overcome.

He urged the federal government to engage in more sensitisation as well as open more testing and treatment centres across the country.

The minority leader called on members of the National Assembly to ensure more sensitisation in their constituencies to guarantee a wider enlightenment on issues related to the disease at the grass root level.

Meanwhile, the PDP in Niger State has said it would soon distribute hand fliers in major Nigerian languages to educate the people on how to prevent the dreaded Coronavirus disease.

The party has also urged the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government in the state “to wake from its slumber” and chart the path for the people to follow.

PDP, in a statement made available to newsmen in Minna yesterday by its Niger State Chairman, Alhaji Tanko Beji, said the hand fliers would be distributed throughout the 274 wards of the state.

‘”The PDP shall procure fliers in all languages with preventive steps and signs to give out at public places, on the roads and schools to deepen awareness,” Beji said.

He described the step as the party’s “small way” of protecting the people from the scourge of the virus, adding that PDP was also exploring other methods by which it could educate the public on the virus which has already spread into the country.

Beji asked Niger State Government “not to leave the people to their fate,” challenging the government to put in place serious interventions and measures before the disease spread to the state.

The chairman advised the state government to “as a matter of immediate action carve out a portion or any part of the General Hospital or construct a tent in the hospital for those to be quarantined.”

“Hospital should be created with wide gap from regular interaction with the general public. Health workers should be deployed to visit schools to give awareness talks. Adverts with message on prevention should go on all local media platforms. Training should be given to at least 100 volunteers to go from house by house to create awareness for at least the next three to five days,” he said.

In addition PDP said it could oblige the government with some members of its party who “are the best hands in pharmacy, medicine and sciences, engineering, nursing operation, media, as volunteers,” saying “this is not a time for political correctness, it’s a time to sacrifice for Nigerlites.”

The opposition party added that it hoped the outbreak would however not be an avenue to milk the lean state’s resources, adding that “this is why the party offers volunteers strictly for the prevention and tackling of the menace (Coronavirus).”

The statement also gave the dos and don’ts for the public to follow to avoid the disease.