Adesina says Buhari not addressing Nigerians as president extends lockdown relaxation till June 1/ Femi Adesina

The Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina, has explained there was no  planned nationwide broadcast by his principal as earlier suggested in many quarters.

NVS had earlier reported how the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, announced the president would address Nigerians while appearing on a Channels Television programme on Sunday night.

But contrary to the PTF coordinator’s claim, Adesina, in a post on his social media page on Monday, said no arrangement of such was made.

According to him, Nigerians should follow up updates given by the PTF to know about  Buhari government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” he wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has disclosed Buhari’s order on the gradual ease of lockdown has been extended till June 1.

Mustapha made this known during the PTF’s daily COVID-19 briefing in Abuja on Monday.  

According to him, the president’s decision was consequent upon the recommendations of the PTF, and the guidelines issued for relaxing the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the federal capital territory (FCT).

The SGF added that the PTF would carry out another review when the new two-week extension of the easing of lockdown elapses.

Mustapha also announced six steps approved by Buhari for the extension of the lockdown relaxation till June 1.

The steps, according to him, include:

“The measures, exemptions, advisories and scope of entities allowed to reopen under phase one of the eased locked down, shall be maintained across the federation for another two weeks effective from 12 00 midnight today (18th May, 2020 to 1st June, 2020).

“Intensifying efforts to “tell (communicate), trace (identify) and treat (manage)’ cases;

“Elevating the level of community ownership of non-pharmaceutical interventions;

“Maintain the existing lockdown order in Kano for an additional two weeks;

“​Imposition of precision lockdown in states, or in metropolitan/high-burden LGAs, that are reporting a rapidly increasing number of cases, when the need arises. This would be complemented with the provision of palliatives and continued re-evaluation of the impact of the interventions; and

“Aggressive scale up of efforts to ensure that communities are informed, engaged and participating in the response with enhanced public awareness in high risk states.”