PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has made a dramatic U-turn and decided that he will no longer make a nationwide broadcast tonight on the status of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the country.
Over the weekend, it had been announced that President Buhari would go on air at 8pm tonight, revealing the government’s latest set of measures to control the pandemic. However, over the last hour, President Buhari’s spokesman Femi Adesina, revealed that the presidential committee on coronavirus will brief the nation instead.
Mr Adesina said: “There will be no presidential broadcast on Covid-19 updates today. Rather, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) will during its usual media briefings bring the nation up to speed on the next steps.”
It had been rumoured that isolated lockdowns would be imposed in areas with high cases of coronavirus, particularly in Lagos and Abuja. With President Buhari pulling out of a broadcast, the PTF on Covid-19 is now expected to inform Nigerians on the next step as the first phase of the lockdown ease elapses today.
Aliyu Sani, the PTF national coordinator had confirmed yesterday on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics programme that President Buhari would address the nation today. On the programme Mr Sani said the president would decide whether the country should go ahead with the second phase of the lockdown ease.
He added that the PTF had reviewed the situation and was concerned in terms of the implementation, as the general public were not following the guidelines on facemask wearing, social distancing and taking precautions. Since the easing of the lockdowns, most Nigerians have been very casual about the virus, with mosques and churches even opening.