Nigeria: Coronavirus - Go for Test, Lawan Tells Senators Who Return From Foreign Trips

Coronavirus graphic
19 March 2020

Nigeria's Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has asked Senators who just returned into the country from foreign trips to go for the coronavirus test.

Senate's Spokesperson, Godiya Akwashiki, disclosed this while briefing reporters after Thursday's plenary.

The Red Chamber went into about two-hour executive session, after which it announced the suspension of all public hearings and shutting of its gallery to visitors as part of measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

According to Akwashiki, the Senate President, during the closed-door session, told the affected lawmakers to undergo coronavirus test from tomorrow.

Though he didn't give the names of the affected Senators, Daily Trust learnt that they were at the chamber today.

Akwashiki said, "He (Lawan) urged those that just returned from foreign trips to go and test themselves from tomorow because as leaders we should show example to others."

On Senate's Wednesday resolution urging President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation on the situation of COVID-19 in Nigeria, Akwashiki said it was "too early for us to question why the President has not addressed the nation."

He, however, said, if the president didn't address Nigerians "in the next one week", the leadership of the Senate would engage him.

"You know that there are procedures for the president to address the nation. I want to believe in the next one week, if he didn't address the nation, the leadership of the Senate will engage the Executive arm of government because it is a serious issue.

"The disease does not know a Senator or President or a farmer. Once you catch it, you are going. I want to ask for a little patient with the president to address the nation," the lawmaker said.

Akwashiki also said some Senators, during the closed-door session, wanted the National Assembly shut down today, but the Senate President cautioned against such move.

"At the end of the discussion, the Senate President said we cannot just wake up and shut down the complex.

"We all came through election, if we are closing down the National Assembly, there are ways to do it.

"So, we decided that we should avoid public hearings because public hearings will bring in a lot of people and shaking of hands.

"The influx of people into the complex should be limited. We only want the Senators, media and the aides," he said.

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