COVID-19: No Senator tested positive, says Sen. Oloriegbe

Senate President Ahmed Lawan and Deputy Senate President, Omo Agege

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC-Kwara), on Tuesday said no Senator in the 9th Senate tested positive for COVID-19 pandemic as being speculated.

Oloriegbe made this known to newsmen shortly after the Senate adjourned to April 7 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

The chairman said it was untrue that some Senators defied screening at the airport on arrival from foreign countries.

There was widespread ispeculation in the country that about 10 senators, who recently returned from countries affected by the COVID-19, refused to be tested.

According to Oloriegbe, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and security operatives at the airports have confirmed that no lawmaker refused to be subjected to COVID-19 test.

Describing it as fake and misleading, Oloriegbe said there was no letter addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, by the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, that some lawmakers had refused to get tested at the airport.

He said the purported letter was handiwork of mischief makers.

He said contrary to reports that some senators who returned from abroad had handshakes with their colleagues, Oloriegbe said: “Since a week ago, there was no form of handshaking in the Senate.

“You should not follow fake news on the social media, we saw the letter and it is fake.

“No Senator has refused any test, and since last week, there was no handshaking in Senate.

“The criteria for testing is that if you have symptoms or have contact, you will be tested, that is why the Senate want the Federal Government to expand the testing criteria but as at yesterday, the NCDC has acquired more new testing kits.

“The critical issue to us is about Nigerians, not about Senators alone.

“I can tell you that no Senator has tested positive to COVID-19 and none has also refused to be tested as being speculated,” Oloriegbe stated.

He said the Senate at its closed session, had urged the Federal Government to provide fund to state governments to curtail the COVID-19 spread in the country.