Coronavirus: Atiku advises Buhari

Atiku Abubakar

Nigeria’s former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari on how to respond to the incident of Coronavirus disease now in the country.

Nigeria recorded its first case of coronavirus on Friday when an Italian who was in the country for business was diagnosed with the infection.

The patient is being treated in Lagos and is said to be in a stable condition.

The  governments of Lagos and Ogun, the two states visited by the Italian have already activated the process of tracing all the persons he had contacts with before coming he was diagnosed.

But writing on his Facebook page on Friday, Atiku, who was Buhari’s main opponent in the 2019 presidential election advised the President to follow the method used to confront Ebola under former President Goodluck Jonathan to tackle coronavirus.

Just like it happened when the case of ebola was recorded the Federal Government should work with the Lagos and Ogun State Government to curtail the spread of coronavirus in the country. He also warned against finger pointing.

Atiku said, Now that Nigeria has had her first confirmed case of the Corona Virus infestation, via a citizen of Italy, who visited Lagos and Ogun states, I would want to offer my patriotic counsel to the government of General Muhammadu Buhari, on how best to tackle this issue.

“We must call upon our experience with the Wild Ebola Virus, of which we were the first nation in the world to defeat that scourge in 2014. How did Nigeria do it? We achieved it by showing unprecedented unity. The federal government of the day worked closely with the Lagos and Rivers state governments.

“There was complete unity, solidarity and oneness of purpose, which created the atmosphere that defeated that deadly infestation.

“I strongly counsel that any tendency to blame and point fighters must be temporarily, if not permanently, suspended. If fingers must be pointed, it must be to solutions.

“Nigeria needs firm and decisive actions to prevent an escalation of the scourge. Recently, we closed our borders as an act against economic sabotage. Perhaps now is the time to temporarily halt flights to and from any nation with a prevalence of this scourge. It is more important to secure human lives than to secure an economy. We also need to invest in early detection facilities at our airports.

“But above all, Nigeria must not panic. Whether at government or individual levels. We have defeated Ebola before, and we can defeat this present predicament.

“This crisis is an opportunity to show that we are first and foremost Nigerians and that we have no other country but our dear fatherland, which we must work together to keep healthy and secure.”