For the third time in less than one month, the federal government has warned Nigerians to obey all the COVID19 protocols which include wearing a face mask so as to avoid the government from imposing another lockdown.
The warning came via a statement signed and released by Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity. The presidency said it is worried by reports of non-compliance with the executive order signed by President Buhari on January 27 that mandates the use of face masks and social distancing. The law stipulates that any defaulter of the COVID19 protocols will be asked to pay a fine or sentenced to 6 months in jail or both.
According to the statement, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the executive order with the best of intentions and not with the motive of punishing citizens.
“The Presidency is worried by reports of non-compliance with just signed executive order that makes mask-wearing and observation of social distancing in the public mandatory, appealing to Nigerians to give their maximum cooperation for the success of the policy,” the statement read.
President Muhammadu Buhari introduced the order with the best of intentions and not with any motive to punish citizens.
The Presidency appeals to state governments, traditional rulers and religious leaders to play active roles in the sensitization and enforcement of the executive order.
The Buhari administration is most reluctant to lock down the country and continues to emphasize the non-pharmaceutical measures and the only way to avert lockdowns is to observe these measures as put in place by the Presidential Task Force.
Nigerians have come a long way from the dreaded lockdown and the administration is unhappy about any prospects of bringing it back as many citizens will not have food on the table without venturing out on a day-to-day business.
We have a duty to protect ourselves and others in this difficult global health crisis; no one has immunity against this pandemic. Ignoring health warnings and refusing to comply with safety measures does more harm than good” the statement read.
Garba noted that although there is a vaccine for the virus now, the fact that many people do not wear a face mask weakens the fight against the virus. He urged Nigerians to ignore baseless conspiracy theories that seek to deny the reality of the pandemic by complying with the order to wear masks.
”Though vaccine availability is within reach, the propensity of the public for noncompliance weakens the fight against the virus.
Nigerians must ignore baseless conspiracy theories that seek to deny the reality of the pandemic by complying with the order to wear masks.
We have a duty to protect ourselves and others in this difficult global health crisis; no one has immunity against this pandemic. Ignoring health warnings and refusing to comply with safety measures does more harm than good.
The COVID19 pandemic is a major threat to public health and wearing of masks, social distancing in public places and the basic hygiene are necessary measures that have to be taken to safeguard the well-being of our citizens.
Nigerians must always have it in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic is not only a threat to the health of the population but it is equally so to the national economy, and to every aspect of our everyday life.
Protecting public health is one of the sacred duties of any responsible government and the administration will not abdicate that responsibility.”the statement read