...Says Presidential Villa not shut down
The Presidency Wednesday explained why the the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the seasonal National Council of State meetings were cancelled.
Addressing State House correspondents, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the meetings was canceled because the number of those scheduled to attend the meetings exceeds the recommended number of people for gatherings.
“The Council was suspended because of the size. You have over 50 people seated in the Council Chambers whenever the meeting holds and that is not advisable at a time like this.
“But if there would be a very important decision to be taken, you can always summon the relevant people, three, four or five and hold a small meeting and arrive at a decision.
“It does not mean that one man is going to be taking all the decisions.
“Of course, there are executive decisions but the ones that must pass through consultations of which must have a buy in of the federal executive council can always be discussed at a smaller meeting.”
On the present situation of things at the Presidential Villa, Adesina said: “Things are a bit on a low key, it doesn’t mean that the State House is shut down, it’s just that things are a bit on the low key just like the rest of the country.
“The rest of the country is also on a low key, there is partial lockdown in most parts of the country. So, what is happening at the State House can also be called a partial lockdown but not a complete lockdown.”
Asked if President Muhammadu Buhari was tested for the COVID-19 virus, the Presidential Spokesman while confirming it, said the outcome of the result calls for celebration.
“Anybody that does the test and shows negative, we will rejoice with that person. And anybody that does it and test positive, it’s not a death sentence.
“We also would pray along with the person, give the person our good will and best wishes and they will surely come out of it. Even the index case in Nigeria recovered and has been discharged.
“God that has shown us mercy thus far and will continue to show that mercy. Anybody that test positive is not a dead sentence, they will be attended to, they will be tested and they will be fine,” he said.
On the reported media ban from the State House, the Presidential spokesman said: “Ban is a wrong word. Anybody that uses that word ban is just operating from a mindset and you know that Nigerians love conspiracy theories but this one is no conspiracy at all. There is no ban.
“What happened is that in the press gallery you have about 108 journalists in that single hall and it goes contrary to the spirit of the times. The times dictates that you don’t have too many people congregated in one place. Imagine 108 journalists if one of them happens to catch the virus, he spreads it among all the journalists.
“So, we said for now let them stay away, not much is happening for now. But we picked a certain number, representative of the media, they will come in, if there is anything they will cover and those outside will also not miss because they would be a system in which they can share reports. So band will be a wrong word, it will be operating from a mindset of conspiracy and there is no conspiracy here at all.”
On other measures adopted by the Presidency to curtail the spread of COVID-19, Adesina said: “When you come into the State House, you have about three, four, five spots in which your temperature is tested and you have to sanitize your hand. And if you come in and your temperature is way above a certain figure, then you will be advised to go for test and take care of yourself. So I think so far so good.
“Before you will go into the general area you will meet about three areas of test and before you get into the President’s area you will meet like another two. So I believe that a lot has been done to ensure that those who operate in the presidency are taken care of.”