President Muhammadu Buhari

Buhari urges Nigerians on restriction, says ‘lockdown is essential’

* Stresses scientists to determine length of lockdown

* Government ready to assist most affected persons with grains, cash payments
Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect
Contrary to expectation of many that the current stay-at-home directive by the Federal Government of Nigeria on restriction of movement in Lagos, Ogun States and Abuja, FCT, may be relaxed during Easter celebrations, President Muhammadu Buhari has said lockdown measures are “essential” to defeat the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Malam Garba Shehu, Presidential spokesman, in a statement Saturday, April 11 said President Buhari urged Nigerians to “observe restrictions on movement where they are in place” during the Easter holiday.

In the statement, the President also said the lockdown will last as long “as our scientific advisers declare they are necessary.”

“For those who suffer most egregiously” during the lockdown, Buhari said the government was ready to help assist with grains and distribution of small cash payments.

“No elected government could ask more of the citizens of the country that elected them than today we ask of you.”

He stressed that “we must ask you – once more – to observe restrictions on movement where they are in place, and follow the instructions of our scientists and medical advisers: stay home, wash your hands, save lives.

“We ask you to listen and follow public announcements via the mass media for instructions as to how to receive this government support – and learn of more public assistance in the coming days.”

According to him, “all that the Government is asking you to endure is because nowhere in the world today is there any known way of defeating this pandemic. There is no vaccine.

“And that means there are choices to be made: between continuing as usual, or accepting the restrictions even when they come with unintended consequences.”

“But at this darkest hour, it remains our duty to offer you the full and unvarnished truth: This is a global pandemic. 210 countries and territories across the globe are affected.

“We cannot expect others to come to our assistance. No one is coming to defeat this virus for us.”

The President stated that the defeat of the virus in the country will be in Nigerians’ hands alone.

“We cannot wait for others. We can only depend on ourselves now. And so we must – and we will – end this outbreak ourselves as Nigerians together,” Buhari said.

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