The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha has expressed fears to the effect that rising cases of COVID-19 among VIPs will adversely affect governance in the country.
Mustapha who is the Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, expressed the concern in Abuja on Monday at the briefing of the PTF.
COVID-19 has claimed some prominent Nigerians, including the former Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari; a former governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi.
The incumbent governors of Kaduna, Bauchi, Oyo, Ondo and Abia States were among the VIPs who recovered from the virus.
The SGF said the rising cases among VIPs had a direct impact on governance and the nation’s security.
“We urge that vigilance and care should be exhibited by all Nigerians irrespective of status.
“This virus does not discriminate and the PTF shall keep sustaining its sensitization messaging,” Mustapha said.
He said that as nation progressed into the second phase of the eased lockdown, the national response continued to escalate its level of vigilance and monitoring, especially as the government eased restrictions in more sectors, including those with potentials for large gatherings and/or interactions between groups of people.
“We are conscious of the fact that this could be misinterpreted to mean that the war against COVID-19 is over.
“Let me emphasise that decision for further relaxation was cautiously taken by the government to balance lives and livelihood,” he said.
He noted that the rising global and domestic statistics of cases and fatalities have shown that COVID-19 has not given any relaxation, thus the nation cannot afford to slow down and must never compromise.
He said: “Let’s continue to learn from the history of pandemics by avoiding the mistakes of 1918.
“The PTF calls on all Nigerians to also remain vigilant and this call is underscored by global and national developments in the last one week.”
He said that the PTF earlier yesterday met with the heads of security and defence agencies to review and chart a refined course “in view of the fact that COVID-19 is global health, and socio-economic and security issue and Nigeria must continue to evolve new strategies peculiar to her environment, even while working within global prescriptions.”
Mustapha said the PTF would on Thursday and Friday be carrying out its mid-term review having crossed the three months or half time threshold of its life span.
He said this would involve a comprehensive examination of the steps taken, the challenges and charting the way forward.