President Muhammadu Buhari will not address Nigerians today on the COVID-19 pandemic, his office has said.
The spokesperson to the president, Femi Adesina, in a brief Twitter post, on Monday, said no presidential broadcast was planned contrary to a statement made by a health official.
He said rather, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 will bring Nigerians up to speed on the next steps.
“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.
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.
— Femi Adesina (@FemAdesina) May 18, 2020
The national coordinator of the PTF, Sani Aliyu, had reportedly told Channels Television, on Sunday, that Mr Buhari would brief Nigerians.
Before Mr Aliyu’s statement, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, told journalists that Nigerians should expect new directives on Monday as the movement restriction put in place to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus ends.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Mustapha, who chairs the PTF, led the task force members to a meeting with Mr Buhari.
“We have supplied him (President Buhari) with all the materials that is required to look at the issues. Because we are in for the long haul.
”But remember on the 27th of April, he addressed the nation and in place the easing down of the lockdown effective from the 4th of May.
”From the 4th of May to date is about 13 days, tomorrow we should expect new processes to be put in place,” Mr Mustapha said.
With Mr Adesina’s clarification, it is now clear that it is the PTF that will outline the new processes approved by the president.
Buhari advises Governors
In a separate statement, Mr Adesina said President Buhari advised governors to work closely with the PTF, to engender better harmony in the daunting task of checking the pandemic.
The president spoke during an online meeting Monday with the Governors’ Forum, disclosing that the PTF had briefed him on next steps in the national response to the pandemic, “and I have directed that they work very closely with the governors.”
President Buhari said the pandemic was “beyond technology, power, and resources,” noting that the countries that had all those were recording the 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 was quoted as saying.
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, Mr Adesina wrote.