Coronavirus: Arrest Unpatriotic Nigerians Avoiding Screening, House Tells FG

A cross section of members during plenary

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to arrest and prosecute anyone avoiding coronavirus screening at the nation’s airports.

The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, stated this while reacting to the circular issued by the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari, alleging that some members of the House evaded screening at the airport.

Kalu said the letter from Kyari was a wakeup call for all Nigerians, adding that coronavirus is real and should be taken seriously by all irrespective of status.

According to him, “The truth is that it is unpatriotic for you not to pass through the screening. It is unpatriotic to the nation and such persons should be penalised. They should be arrested.

“Those people who pass through there without screening should be arrested and be properly checked before being released so that we don’t allow anyone who has this virus into circulation. We don’t even know who has this virus right now and so, we have to take extra care.

“There is a screening process at the airport that is supposed to be obeyed by every patriotic citizen of this country irrespective of your status. It doesn’t matter if you are the president of the country, a senator or a member of the House or a governor.

“Health is very important. If yours is not important to you, that of others is important to them and any negligent act by being careless might affect a whole lot of Nigerians.”

The House spokesman noted that since there are cameras at the airport, officials should go through the camera to identify all those who returned to the country recently and refused to go through the screening so that they can be traced.

Kalu stressed that it doesn’t matter the class or status of Nigerians, everybody is expected to subject himself to screening.

The House spokesman, who claimed he saw the letter being circulated online, said the takeaway from the letter is that people should make efforts to comply with this particular health policy.

He said people should not misinterpret the letter because it was not an attack on the House, adding that: “It is not humiliating going into isolation if need be to save family, friends and the people you wok with.”