Shehu explained that the President gave the directive in response to the killing of 22 people in Sokoto State, whose community was attacked by armed bandits.
He added that the order was also in response to the reported killing of 10 people in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.
“In a quick response, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has already gotten in touch with the General Officers Commanding the army formations in the affected states, directing them to reinforce the police efforts to track the bandits and bring them to justice,” the statement said.
The President condoled with the governments and people of the two states, assuring Governors Aminu Tambuwal and Simon Lalong of the Federal Government’s support in bringing an end to the spate of attacks in the regions.
He also sympathised with the families and friends of the victims and prayed that Allah would comfort them.
One of the daughters of President Muhammadu Buhari has reunited with her family after she returned from isolation.
The lady, whose name was not disclosed, reunited with her family on Thursday after she went into isolation for 14 days, following her return to the country.
A media aide to Mrs Aisha Buhari, Aliyu Abdullahi, revealed this in a statement.
He explained that the isolation was done in line with the protocol of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), to ascertain the health status of returning travellers on coronavirus (COVID-19).
The President’s daughter, according to Abdullahi, is normal, very healthy, and well at the end of the isolation period.
He added that she reunited with her family on Thursday afternoon and was personally received by her mother, the first lady.
“The lesson here for Nigerians and other parents to learn is that this is a child with all the privileges one can ever think to have in the country, but the parents and the daughter insisted in following the NCDC protocol,” Abdullahi said.
Elated Aisha who could not also hide her joy took to Twitter to share the news of her daughter’s return.
She also prayed for a speedy recovery for those who have tested positive for coronavirus in the country, as the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 184.
See the first lady’s tweet below:
It is a thing of joy & gratitude to Almighty God to reunite with my daughter after she had been in isolation for 14 days immediately she landed in Nigeria. While I’m wishing all those infected for a speedy recovery, I pray for the end of this pandemic. . #AbujaScaleUppic.twitter.com/t3KyJ3d29n
President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have been receiving half of their monthly salaries before the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, disclosed this during an interview on Politics Today.
“Already, the President and the Vice President are earning 50 per cent of their salaries, they are not earning 100 per cent,” he stated on Tuesday during the Channels Television political programme.
Adesina explained that both leaders opted to be paid half of their salaries since the inception of the present administration in 2015.
Although he did not disclose what purpose the unpaid halves were used for over the years, he believes both leaders have done well and will be making donations to tackle coronavirus at their own will.
Asked whether the President and his vice were donating their salaries just like the members of the Senate and House of Representatives chambers of the National Assembly, he said, “I can’t say for sure; the members of the federal cabinet are donating 50 per cent of their March salaries.”
“Already, the Vice President and the President are earning 50 per cent. Right from the beginning of the administration (the first term), they had elected to earn half of the salaries they should earn … to ask them to do more will be a voluntary thing,” the presidential aide added.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, on Monday explained the importance of the curfew imposed on Abuja, Lagos, Ogun States by the President.
Speaking about the address by President Muhammadu Buhari on coronavirus (COVID-19) during his appearance on Channels Television’sSunrise Daily, Ihekweazu admitted that it was a tough decision to restrict movement in the affected places, especially Lagos and Abuja.
He, however, stressed that the curfew was to ease the burden on health workers monitoring those suspected to have had contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country.
“Every time we have a new case, we add about 50 to 60 contacts that we then have to follow every single day for 14 days.
“We can’t do this if we don’t have access to these cases, so this is really one of the reasons why Mr President took this very difficult decision and it is not just to stop movement.
“It is to enable us and our team, Lagos State team, FCT team to reach the contacts, keep them at home, make sure they are supported and see whether we can really use this time to buy some time to get ahead of the case and ultimately, we will see that curve start going down,” an optimistic Ihekweazu explained.
According to him, the NCDC is following no fewer than 6,000 suspected to have had contact with the 111 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
The NCDC boss made the disclosure a day after President Muhammadu Buhari addressed Nigerians over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In his speech, the President listed some of the measures put in place by the Federal Government to curtail the spread of the disease and mitigate its effect on the Nigerian economy.
He also ordered the restriction of movement in Lagos and Ogun States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari has reacted to his health status following a coronavirus test that he tested positive for.
In a statement he personally signed on Sunday, the presidential aide said based on medical advice, he will be transferred to Lagos for additional tests and observation after testing positive for COVID-19 diseases last week and thereafter he self-isolated.
Kyari said he will be getting treatment at his own expense in order not to burden the public health system, although he claimed he has not experienced high fever or any other symptoms associated with the coronavirus.
While explaining that he has been working from home since he tested positive for COVID-19, the Chief of Staff said hopes to return to his desk soon.
He also assured that he has colleagues as a backup who are young, professional, knowledgeable and patriotic and are working seven days a week, to serve the president and people of Nigeria.
SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE
Press release –
Health status of Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari
29 March, Abuja
I am writing to let you know that on medical advice, I will transfer to Lagos later today for additional tests and observation. This is a precautionary measure: I feel well, but last week, I tested positive for coronavirus, the pandemic that is sweeping the world. I have followed all the protocols the government has announced to self-isolate and quarantine.
I have made my own care arrangements to avoid further burdening the public health system, which faces so many pressures. Like many others that will test also positive, I have not experienced high fever or other symptoms associated with this new virus and have been working from home. I hope to be back at my desk very soon. I have a team of young, professional, knowledgeable and patriotic colleagues, whose dedication has been beyond the call of duty, who continue to work seven days a week, with no time of the day spared. We will continue to serve the President and people of Nigeria, as we have for the past five years.
I want to thank all our fantastic, talented and brave healthcare professionals, working across the country in such a difficult time; all the good Samaritans looking out for the most vulnerable in our communities; the key workers that will keep our country going through this; friends and family and often strangers, who have sent me such warm wishes and displayed such a generosity of spirit.
We should be calm, measured and diligent – be meticulous in your hygiene, especially with cleaning hands, if possible stay at home or keep your distance. Listen to good advice from the proper authorities: pay no heed to quack cures or fake news from social media. President Buhari will do whatever it takes to protect the health and safety of our people and get the country back on its feet as soon as possible.
Like the whole world, we are dealing with a new disease. Our experts are learning more all the time about coronavirus, what it does and how we can combat it. What we do know is that while some may become very sick, many others who contract the virus will not, and may have no symptoms at all. This is a disease that recognises no difference between north and south, men or women, rich or poor. We are all in this together.
“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-Import Bank.
“For on-lending 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 borrowers,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari will address the nation by 7pm on Sunday.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, announced this in a statement hours before President Buhari is scheduled to address Nigerians.
“Television, radio, and other electronic media outlets are enjoined to hook up to the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) respectively for the broadcast,” he said.
The scheduled broadcast comes amid mixed reactions triggered by what some described as the inability of the President to address the people against the backdrop of coronavirus (COVID) in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday commended the public-spiritedness of some wealthy Nigerians and organisations for standing up to be counted in the battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President thanked members of the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against Covid-19, for their contributions in the sum of billions of naira to curb the spread of the disease in Nigeria.
They include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu of BUA Group, Femi Otedola, Tony Elumelu (United Bank of Africa), Herbert Wigwe (Access Bank), Segun Agbaje (Guaranty Trust Bank) and Jim Ovia (Zenith Bank).
He noted that UBA donated the sum of N5 billion to Nigeria and Africa, while the former Vice President pledged N50 million.
According to the President, First Bank is partnering with the government, the United Nations, and innovative technology firms to provide e-learning solutions to at least one million children under the ‘Keep Them Engaged, Keep Them Safe’ initiative.
He commended every other helping hand that has been lent by individuals, groups, and organisations, which may not necessarily be in the public domain, praying that God who sees all things would abundantly recompense.
President Buhari, however, recommended the laudable strides to other high net-worth Nigerians and organisations.
He stressed that collectively, Nigeria would overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic, and chart a new course in nationalism and brotherhood.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate release of N15 billion to the Lagos State government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to tackle the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, the President explained that the approval followed the extensive briefings he received recently on the state of the nation, as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He ordered that the sum of N10 billion grant be immediately released to Lagos State to boost the government’s capacity to control and contain the outbreak, as well as support other states with capacity-building.
The remaining N5 billion, according to the President, is to be paid as a special intervention fund to the NCDC to equip and provide personnel to its facilities and laboratories across Nigeria.
He revealed that the Nigerian Air Force was already making its fleet available to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, to enable a better coordinated and more effective response.
President Buhari said the initial closure of the nation’s international airports and land borders for four weeks was to ensure that appropriate policies, processes, and infrastructure were in place to cope with suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country.
He, however, regretted the inconvenience caused by the flight and travel restrictions to Nigerians abroad willing to return home, stressing that it was for the greater good.
The President thanked all medical personnel in the country for their efforts in curbing the spread of the disease.
He also urged Nigerians to be mindful of those he said were taking advantage of the present situation to spread panic and cause confusion.
Read the President’s remarks below:
Over the last few days, I have received extensive briefings on the state of the nation as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic, from the relevant Federal Government agencies as well as the Lagos State Government.
Accordingly, I approved the following:
The immediate release of a 10 billion Naira grant to Lagos State, which remains the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak in Nigeria. This grant will enable Lagos to increase its capacity to control and contain the outbreak, while also supporting other States with capacity-building.
The immediate release of a 5 billion Naira special intervention fund to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to equip, expand and provide personnel to its facilities and laboratories across the country.
The Nigerian Air Force is already making its fleet available to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, to enable a better coordinated and more effective response across the country.
To protect our homeland from external exposure, I directed the immediate closure of our International Airports and Land Borders for four weeks in the first instance, to enable us to put up the appropriate policies, processes and infrastructure to cope with suspected and confirmed cases at home, without risking a compounding of the situation with more imported cases.
The inconvenience caused by these flight and travel restrictions to our fellow citizens abroad who want to return home is regrettable, but it is necessary for the greater good, and I thank you all for your understanding and cooperation.
I have also directed that only cargo vessels that have been at sea for more than 14 days be allowed to dock in our ports after the crew has been tested and confirmed disease-free by the Port Health Authorities.
This 14-day restriction, however, does not apply to vessels carrying oil and gas products as by their nature, there is minimal human contact.
We have also suspended the movement of commuter trains to limit the spread of the virus to other parts of the country.
I have directed the NCDC to draft all its recent retirees back into service to beef up our manpower as we respond to the pandemic.
Furthermore, all NCDC staff and experts who are away on training or international assignments are to return immediately.
Already the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is conducting an evacuation mission to bring back some of our specialists in Central Africa, to enable them to support the national response.
I commend the monetary policy authorities for their financial intervention to support our entrepreneurs and companies as we go through this difficult time.
We are also looking at fiscal measures to minimise the negative impact of this pandemic on the livelihood of millions of Nigerians.
As you are aware we have begun the process of reviewing the federal budget. We shall communicate our fiscal interventions once the budget review process is concluded.
In the meantime, I have directed the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, to work with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), to ensure that all production of essential items such as food, medical and pharmaceutical products continues unhindered.
We are engaging our international friends and partners to share knowledge and to seek their support in our response to the pandemic. We are grateful for the show of support thus far – we have already started receiving goods and supplies intended to help us scale up our efforts.
Let me specially thank and commend all of the hard and heroic work being done by our medical personnel, the NCDC, Port Health Authorities, Security Agencies, State Governments, and all ad-hoc staff and volunteers.
I urge all Nigerians to be mindful of those among us who seek to spread panic and misinformation and sow confusion at this time.
We must all pay attention only to the relevant government agencies working day and night to make accurate and useful information available to the public.
I will also ask all of us to strictly obey all public health guidelines and instructions issued by the Federal and State health authorities, regarding personal hygiene and social distancing.
These guidelines will be updated from time to time as new information and treatments are obtained.
In the meantime, I want to assure all Nigerians, that the Federal Government remains committed to protecting all Nigerians. We seek your full support and cooperation as we go through this very difficult time. Together we will triumph over this pandemic.
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended Nigerians for the unity of purpose in fighting the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The President lauded Nigerian citizens for their willingness for self-isolation, social distancing, and also appreciated the contributions of public-spirited individuals and institutions who are mobilising resources to complement efforts of Federal and State governments.
This was disclosed in a statement signed on Thursday by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
Buhari, according to the statement lauded State Governments, religious bodies, health workers, Federal Government agencies, including security outfits, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria for rising to the occasion to protect the country and its citizens.
He assured that the government will remain steadfast in deploying more resources to lessen the burden of the pandemic.
Buhari also called for more compliance with regulations and restrictions on movement and gatherings for the safety of all citizens and allayed fears on restriction of food and medication.
“President Buhari calls on all leaders across the country, including religious and traditional leaders, to further support the Federal and State governments in the ongoing sensitization programmes on the need to stay at home and keep a safe distance in the public, and to dissuade citizens from panic buying and rumour mongering.
“He reassures that government directives will not affect production and distribution of food, medications, medical equipment and other essentials as the nation wades through the global health challenge, which already portends dire economic strains,” the statement read in part.
The President, however, directed all relevant agencies and regulators to provide an enabling environment for industries to sustain their operations by ensuring reasonable access to industrial supplies and inputs like water, fuel, gas and essential infrastructure.
Mr Femi Adesina has defended President Muhammadu Buhari for not addressing Nigerians on the coronavirus (COVID-19) on a daily basis.
Against the backdrop of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country numbering over 50, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity believes his principal has a right to his style of leadership.
He stated this during his appearance on Channels Television’sPolitics Today on Thursday.
Asked why the President did not brief Nigerians as it was done in other countries, Adesina said, “It’s a matter of style”.
“The style that A adopts may not be the one that B adopts, and there is no style that you can call ‘this style’ for everybody. So, everybody is at liberty to adopt a style that suits him.”
Adesina, however, noted that the President had put certain measures in place to ensure information was passed through the right channels.
He listed these to include the setting up of a Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus, as well as briefings from the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), among other stakeholders in the nation’s health sector.
With these measures being operational, the presidential aide stressed that there was no need for President Buhari to give a regular briefing, as long as there was no communication breach.
He said, “The style our President has adopted is to set up a Presidential Task Force headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), which briefs regularly.
“You have the Minister of Health who briefs, you have the Minister of State for Health who briefs, you have the NCDC who briefs; so you have that chain and there is no lack of information.”
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday launched the National Broadband Plan (2020 – 2025) in Abuja.
The plan, essentially, is intended to deepen internet penetration in the country, according to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami.
The President also commissioned the National Emergency Call Centre, which is expected to link Abuja residents with the Police, fire service, federal road safety officials, during an emergency.
The emergency number, 112, is toll-free.
The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, which is in charge of the project, said it is working to link the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to the call centre, in light of the coronavirus outbreak sweeping through the world.
President Buhari also launched the Digital Nigeria program, which is designed to equip young Nigerians with digital and entrepreneurial skills, according to Pantami.
Lastly, President Buhari launched a Communications and Digital Economy complex, operated by Mr Pantami’s ministry.