By Modupe Gbadeyanka
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday asked Governors of the 36 states of the federation to work closely with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) he constituted some weeks ago on COVID-19.
Mr Buhari made this called when he held a virtual meeting with the governors through the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) headed by Mr Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Ekiti State.
The President said a cordial relationship between the Governors and the PTF will go a long way to overpower the global health pandemic.
According to a statement signed by Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Buhari said the PTF has briefed him on next steps in the national response to the pandemic, stating that “I have directed that they work very closely with the Governors.”
President Buhari said the pandemic was “beyond technology, power, and resources,” noting that countries that had all those, were recording highest casualties round the world.
“We have to be very careful. We need to continue to educate and persuade the people to accept the reality of the situation, and do all that is necessary to stay safe,” the President added.
The meeting also discussed economic and security issues, among others, with the Governors commending the President on the “leadership and direction” he has given the country in combating COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Mr Adesina has dispelled reports that President Buhari will address the nation later today on the next step to take concerning the restrictions imposed in Kano and other states of the federation.
Last month, the President announced a lockdown in Kano State due to COVID-19 and eased the one imposed on Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States from May 4, 2020.
He also declared a national curfew from 8pm to 6am, exempting those offering essential services.
But there were reports that he will again address the nation on the next line of action after the task force held a meeting with the President yesterday.
“No presidential broadcast on COVID-19 updates today. None was planned. Rather, the Presidential Task Force will during its usual media briefings bring the nation up to speed on the next steps,” Mr Adesina said.
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