No Nigerian senator has tested positive to the fast- spreading Coronavirus, an official has said.
Ibrahim Oloriegbe, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary), made this known to journalists during a press briefing on Tuesday.
This was in reaction to reports that some senators and members of House of Representatives have allegedly tested positive to the virus.
PREMIUM TIMES also reported how the president’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari, wrote to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Mr Kyari in his letter complained that some lawmakers had been arrogant towards health officials and refused to subject themselves to airport screening.
In his response, Mr Oloriegbe described the letter as fake and that no lawmaker has tested positive to the virus.
“…As at last week self-isolation was advised because they have engaged and had contact with people.
“So far, there is no senator that has tested positive as far as my knowledge is concerned, as of this moment.”
He added that senators are not exclusive “and the criteria for testing by our centre for disease control is when you have symptoms.”
He also said the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, did not receive such letter.
“Nobody, irrespective of your status, is exempt from screening. When I had interaction with the task force last week on Friday, they did not complain that any National Assembly member refused – the complaint they had was a military officer that broke their security.
“The letter you said, we saw it, the letter is fake. If you look at the drafting of that letter to the speaker and at the end of the day talking about distinguished senator shows that it is a fake letter.
“There is no letter written to the senate president and if there is any, it would have been discussed today,” he said.
On his part, the Senate spokesperson, Godiya Akwashiki, denied visiting the United Kingdom alongside other lawmakers two weeks ago.
Mr Akwashiki was alleged to have traveled to UK and refused to isolate himself.
The lawmaker, who admitted that he was away, said he travelled to Niger and not the UK.
“For the past two, three months now, I have not been to London. I travelled to Niger Republic for ECOWAS parliament inauguration. Don’t work with what you are reading on Facebook or social media,” he said.
Already, the Senate has suspended its plenary for two weeks to curb the spread of the disease.
The Senate earlier suspended all public hearings and excursions to the National Assembly indefinitely.
Mr Lawan also announced that the gallery of the chamber will remain closed to visitors until further notice.
Nigeria recorded its first death from the Covid-19 outbreak on Monday.
So far, Nigeria has a total of 42 confirmed cases including one death.