Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari at the weekend sent messages of sympathy to President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Moon Jaae-in of South Korea and the Prime Minister of Italy, Guiseppo Conte.
The president expressed his “deep sympathies” to the leaders following the increasing incidents of the deadly Coronavirus disease in their countries.
According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, the president in his respective messages, said the Nigerian government would continue to diligently carry out its duty to the international community by ensuring that the spread of the disease is curtailed.
It also said the president encouraged Nigerians to continue to show support to citizens of all the countries who are resident in the country.
The statement quoted Buhari as saying, “there is no cause for panic. Italy, South Korea and Iran remain Nigeria’s allies in good and bad times.”
The statement added that Buhari commended the three countries on their efforts to contain the virus, expressing confidence that, “with the support of the World Health Organisation and other global agencies all working together to contain the virus, it will only be a matter of time before the world sees an end to this disease.”
Buhari was further quoted as saying, “So far, there have been no known cases of the disease on Nigerian soil, but for the penetration of a lone foreign national found to be a carrier of the virus.”
The statement added: “He also commended the diligent efforts of federal, state health officials as well as ports and border personnel in keeping Nigeria safe from the epidemic.
“In fulfilment of the President’s promise to give the health authorities all that they need to keep Nigeria clear of the virus, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning confirmed making the second approved payment in the sum N620 million last Friday, bringing the total payments made so far to N984 million.”