President Buhari’s Full Speech on COVID-19 Pandemic
ADDRESS BY H.E. MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL
REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE COVID- 19 PANDEMIC SUNDAY 29TH MARCH, 2020
From the first signs
that Coronavirus, or COVID-19 was turning into an epidemic and was officially
declared a world-wide emergency, the Federal Government started planning
preventive, containment and curative measures in the event the disease hits
The whole instruments
of government are now mobilized to confront what has now become both a health
emergency and an economic crisis.
unfortunately, confirmed its first case on 27th February 2020. Since then, we
have seen the number of confirmed cases rise slowly.
By the morning of
March 29th, 2020, the total confirmed cases within Nigeria had risen to
Regrettably, we also
had our first fatality, a former employee of PPMC, who died on 23rd March 2020.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in this very difficult time. We
also pray for quick recovery for those infected and undergoing treatment.
As of today, COVID-19
has no cure. Scientists around the world are working very hard to develop a
We are in touch with
these institutions as they work towards a solution that will be certified by
international and local medical authorities within the shortest possible time.
For now, the best
and most efficient way to avoid getting infected is through regular hygienic
and sanitary practices as well as social distancing.
As individuals, we
remain the greatest weapon to fight this pandemic. By washing our hands
regularly with clean water and soap, disinfecting frequently used surfaces and
areas, coughing into a tissue or elbow and strictly adhering to infection
prevention control measures in health facilities, we can contain this virus.
Since the outbreak
was reported in China, our Government has been monitoring the situation closely
and studying the various responses adopted by other countries.
Indeed, the Director
General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was one of ten global
health leaders invited by the World Health Organisation to visit China and
understudy their response approach. I am personally very proud of Dr Ihekweazu
for doing this on behalf of all Nigerians.
Since his return,
the NCDC has been implementing numerous strategies and programs in Nigeria to
ensure that the adverse impact of this virus on our country is minimized. We
ask all Nigerians to support the work the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC
are doing, led by the Presidential Task Force.
Although we have
adopted strategies used globally, our implementation programs have been
tailored to reflect our local realities.
In Nigeria, we are
taking a two-step approach;
First, to protect
the lives of our fellow Nigerians and residents living here and second, to
preserve the livelihoods of workers and business owners to ensure their
families get through this very difficult time in dignity and with hope and
peace of mind.
To date, we have
introduced healthcare measures, border security, fiscal and monetary policies
in our response. We shall continue to do so as the situation unfolds.
Some of these
measures will surely cause major inconveniences to many citizens. But these are
sacrifices we should all be willing and ready to make for the greater good of
In Nigeria’s fight
against COVID-19, there is no such thing as an overreaction or an under
reaction. It is all about the right reaction by the right agencies and trained
Accordingly, as a
Government, we will continue to rely on guidance of our medical professionals
and experts at the Ministry of Health, NCDC and other relevant agencies through
this difficult time.
I therefore urge
all citizens to adhere to their guidelines as they are released from time to
As we are all aware,
Lagos and Abuja have the majority of confirmed cases in Nigeria. Our focus
therefore remains to urgently and drastically contain these cases, and to
support other states and regions in the best way we can.
This is why we
provided an initial intervention of fifteen billion Naira (N15b) to support the
national response as we fight to contain and control the spread.
We also created a
Presidential Task Force (PTF) to develop a workable National Response Strategy
that is being reviewed on a daily basis as the requirements change. This
strategy takes international best practices but adopts them to suit our unique
Our goal is to
ensure all States have the right support and manpower to respond immediately.
So far, in Lagos and
Abuja, we have recruited hundreds of ad-hoc staff to man our call centers and
support our tracing and testing efforts.
I also requested,
through the Nigeria Governors Forum, for all State Governments to nominate
Doctors and Nurses who will be trained by the NCDC and Lagos State Government
on tactical and operational response to the virus in case it spreads to other
This training will
also include medical representatives from our armed forces, paramilitary and
security and intelligence agencies.
As a nation, our
response must be guided, systematic and professional. There is a need for
consistency across the nation. All inconsistencies in policy guidelines between
Federal and State agencies will be eliminated.
As I mentioned
earlier, as at this morning we had ninety-seven confirmed cases. Majority of
these are in Lagos and Abuja. All the confirmed cases are getting the necessary
Our agencies are
currently working hard to identify cases and people these patients have been in
The few confirmed
cases outside Lagos and Abuja are linked to persons who have travelled from
We are therefore
working to ensure such inter-state and intercity movements are restricted to
prevent further spread.
Based on the advice
of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of
all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect
from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020. This restriction will also apply to Ogun
State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two
All citizens in
these areas are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should
be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully
closed during this period.
The Governors of
Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Minister of the FCT have been notified.
Furthermore, heads of security and intelligence agencies have also been
We will use this
containment period to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have
come into contact with confirmed cases. We will ensure the treatment of
confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other States.
This order does not
apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as
organizations in health care related manufacturing and distribution.
commercial establishments such as;
distribution and retail companies;
distribution and retail entities,
transmission and distribution companies; and
private security companies
are also exempted.
establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored.
telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who
can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted.
All seaports in
Lagos shall remain operational in accordance with the guidelines I issued
earlier. Vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from these Ports to
other parts of the country will be screened thoroughly before departure by the
Ports Health Authority.
vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into these
locations from other parts of the country will also be screened thoroughly
before they are allowed to enter these restricted areas.
Hon. Minister of Health is hereby directed to redeploy all Port Health
Authority employees previously stationed in the Lagos and Abuja Airports to key
roads that serve as entry and exit points to these restricted zones.
Movements of all
passenger aircraft, both commercial and private jets, are hereby suspended.
Special permits will be issued on a needs basis.
We are fully aware
that such measures will cause much hardship and inconvenience to many citizens.
But this is a matter of life and death, if we look at the dreadful daily toll
of deaths in Italy, France and Spain.
However, we must all
see this as our national and patriotic duty to control and contain the spread
of this virus. I will therefore ask all of us affected by this order to put
aside our personal comfort to safeguard ourselves and fellow human beings. This
common enemy can only be controlled if we all come together and obey scientific
and medical advice.
As we remain ready
to enforce these measures, we should see this as our individual contribution in
the war against COVID-19. Many other countries have taken far stricter measures
in a bid to control the spread of the virus with positive results.
For residents of
satellite and commuter towns and communities around Lagos and Abuja whose
livelihoods will surely be affected by some of these restrictive measures, we
shall deploy relief materials to ease their pains in the coming weeks.
schools are closed, I have instructed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs,
Disaster Management and Social Development to work with State Governments in
developing a strategy on how to sustain the school feeding program during this
period without compromising our social distancing policies. The Minister will
be contacting the affected States and agree on detailed next steps.
Furthermore, I have
directed that a three month repayment moratorium for all TraderMoni, MarketMoni
and FarmerMoni loans be implemented with immediate effect.
I have also directed
that a similar moratorium be given to all Federal Government funded loans
issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export
facilities using capital from international and multilateral development
partners, I have directed our development financial institutions to engage
these development partners and negotiate concessions to ease the pains of the
For the most
vulnerable in our society, I have directed that the conditional cash transfers
for the next two months be paid immediately. Our Internally displaced persons
will also receive two months of food rations in the coming weeks.
We also call on all
Nigerians to take personal responsibility to support those who are vulnerable
within their communities, helping them with whatever they may need.
As we all pray for
the best possible outcome, we shall continue planning for all eventualities.
This is why I
directed that all Federal Government Stadia, Pilgrims camps and other
facilities be converted to isolation centers and makeshift hospitals.
Nigerians, as a Government, we will avail all necessary resources to support
the response and recovery. We remain committed to do whatever it takes to
confront COVID-19 in our country.
We are very grateful
to see the emerging support of the private sector and individuals to the
response as well as our development partners.
At this point, I
will ask that all contributions and donations be coordinated and centralized to
ensure efficient and impactful spending. The Presidential Task Force remains
the central coordinating body on the COVID-19 response.
I want to assure you
all that Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a role to play in
the outbreak response are working hard to bring this virus under control.
Every nation in the
world is challenged at this time. But we have seen countries where citizens
have come together to reduce the spread of the virus.
I will therefore
implore you again to strictly comply with the guidelines issued and also do
your bit to support Government and the most vulnerable in your communities.
I will take this
opportunity to thank all our public health workforce, health care workers, port
health authorities and other essential staff on the frontlines of the response
for their dedication and commitment. You are true heroes.
I thank you all for
listening. May God continue to bless and protect us all.
Aluta Media Award 2020: Bello emerges best Governor
The CEO Aluta Media Ltd. “Mallam Gambo Jagindi” and Publisher of Aluta News has awarded Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State the best Governor in 2020.
According to Jagindi, the board of directors on the recommendation of chairman award committee has awarded Governor Yahaya Bello as the best Governor in year 2020
He explains that the governor was selected because of his visible achievement in the area of security, youth and women inclusiveness in governance thereby translating to lack of youth restiveness and improved security of lives and properties in the state.
Gistflash gathered that since the inception of Bello’s administration, security of lives and property, youth and women inclusiveness in governance had been his cardinal objective, saying it was an evidence of good governance and affirmed him as the best .
“Gov Bello has proven to have managerial ingenuity and also an outstanding governor,” Jagindi said.
The prestigious award conferment and decoration is slated to hold on February 2nd, 2021 in Lokoja, Kogi State.
2023 Presidency: Youth Support Group Gives Yahaya Bello 14 days Ultimatum to declear interest..
The coalition of youth support groups, under the name of “Governor Yahaya Bello to President Yahaya Bello’’ (GYB2PYB), has issued 14 days ultimatum to Governor Bello to declare intentions’ joining the 2023 presidential race or risk a nationwide protest
The group made their position known in a letter of invitation to contest 2023 presidential race submitted to Governor Bello at the Kogi State liaison office in Abuja on Friday
Ambassador Oladele Nihi Director General GYB2PYB said that Governor Bello has what it takes to provide purposeful leadership and good governance if elected as President in the 2023 General Elections.
“He will offer the right leadership, as he is interested in the good of Nigeria. The GYB2PYB Youth Movement is not a selfish Agenda, but an effort to project him, to market him, and to sell him to other Nigerians.
“We have searched the length and breadth of our country and found that Governor Yahaya Bello, a young man who has given women and young people the platform to be the drivers in their own affairs, will perform well if elected into the exalted office.
“The GYB (Gov. Yahaya Bello), style of leadership is what we need in this country, the leadership of a government of the young people by the young people and for the general wellbeing of all Nigerians.
“Over fifteen million Nigerian young men and women have signed a request letter to His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, calling on him to accept to contest the position of the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023.
“We believe Governor Yahaya Bello to be a detribalized Nigerian. He will stamp out Nepotism from our country, and he will handle the intractable security problems of our country.
“Because he is a young man, he will engage the women and the young men in governance and make them critical stakeholders in the affairs of the country. We believe that he is a good brand that we can sell.
We urge Nigerian youths to take the message nationwide, that Governor Yahaya Bello will handle security; he will ensure Women and Youth Inclusiveness in governance, erase all forms of ethnic and religious bias and bring massive Foreign Direct Investments into the Country.
Right now, we need a leader that can hold our country together. We are saying that the person is Governor Yahaya Bello. I believe that the challenge is to have a good leader to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, who has tried his best. We should begin to identify somebody to take over from him and do a fantastic job.
We will make it impossible for GYB to say NO, because he holds it to Nigerians to participate in the election. It is a patriotic duty we are calling on him for. He is a man who believes in the progress and development of Nigeria, he has no choice than to accede to our request. He should come out and offer himself for the leadership of this country at this time. We are calling on him to serve. We are confident that he will come out and run for the presidency.
Recall that the group had sometime last year predicted that 2023 would be a youth political revolution year in Nigeria, saying it planned to build early structures among youth groups, to network towards possible and inevitable takeover of leadership.
The GYB2PYB, expressed regrets that Nigeria, with a population of more than 200 million people, 75 per cent of which were youth, said it was disheartening that less than one per cent of young Nigerians are currently included, appointed or elected into leadership positions in the country.
It said the group was set to change the narrative come 2023
“We decided to search for three qualities; a young person with capacity politically and financially, one who is already in the political system/power block and who has the track record of youth engagement and inclusion in governance, as well as appointments, requirements we found in Governor Bello,’’ it said in a statement.
Hon. Bar Medina Anako, Special adviser intergovernmental affairs and State focal person, Nigerians in diaspora Commission received the group on behalf of the Governor
Barrister Anako has assured the group that Governor Bello will surely respond to their letter of invitation asking him to join the race within the next 14 days as demanded!!
Armed Forces Remembrance Day; The Heroes of Our Land! “The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” —Douglas MacArthur.
“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile”, opines Albert Einstein. Suffice it to say that the spirit cum the zeal to serve selflessly and pour out oneself profusely in service, for the good of “a neighbor” and betterment of the nation at large, is a worthwhile life. Such a life depicts a Patriot and a Nationalist.
Today, the 15th day of January has been dedicated as a day we remember and pay homage to the selfless and unquantifiable sacrifices our armed forces made and still make for us as individuals and for the nation at large. Today is a day to honour all those brave Men and Women who have served or are still serving their country with bravery, dedication and self-sacrifice.
Yes, they put up selfless sacrifices for us; keeping awake that we might sleep and giving their lives that we might not lose all the things we love. As we sleep peacefully on our beds, our “Gallant Men and Valiant Women” stand on guard, ready to give their lives for our freedom. They keep awake in the bush, in cold weather, on high sea, to make sure we sleep and snore peacefully. They are separated from their families and loved ones so we can be united with ours. They lay down their lives that we might live.
As a country, they give up themselves that we can be united and have our sovereignty upheld. According to Barrack Obama, “the soldier’s courage and sacrifice is full of glory, expressing devotion to country, to cause, to comrades in arms.” In all these their invaluable sacrifices, we need to appreciate them. We need to let them know that we are grateful. Buttressing this further, Harry S. Truman asserts; “our debt to the Heroic men and Valliant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. We will never forget their sacrifices.”
Yes, we should never forget their unflinching and unwavering loyalty and love for our beloved nation; we should never forget their unquantifiable sacrifices.
An epitaph on a soldier’s grave reads: I did my duty, I paid the supreme price, I pray you’ll remember, My sacrifice. My life was short, I did my best. God grant me peace, In my eternal rest.
What a heart-rending epitaph! Yes, they wish that we forget not their sacrifices. “The labours and sacrifices of our Heroes past shall never be in vain”! Let us remember to extend helping hands to their widows, widowers, bereaved siblings and orphaned children. They are in that condition today because their loved ones laid down their lives that we might enjoy the company of our own loved ones.
May God strengthen and bless all our military men, comfort the families of those who lost their lives for our sake and grant blissful rest to our departed Heroes. We are proud of you!!!
“A true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him”. G.K. Chesterton.