The House of Representatives has refuted a news publication alleging that there is panic at National Assembly as over 50 lawmakers test positive for COVID-19, saying it is gross misinformation.
The House spokesman, Benjamin Kalu, who said this in a press release made available to parliamentary correspondents on Wednesday in Abuja said there has not been any panic at the National Assembly as alleged in the publication and it is absolutely untrue that 50 lawmakers tested positive to Covid-19.
According to Kalu, the House is certain that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Federal Ministry of Health and the Presidential Task Force remain the most credible sources of data with regards to the pandemic and should be referred to for fact verification before misinforming the public.
He said members of the National Assembly could fall prey to Covid-19, just like any other person, but it is unconscionable to attempt to weaponize this against the institution especially when the source of such strange information is a phantom.
“The scourge of Covid-19 has impacted all countries of the world, including every state, community and individual without exception. However, it is but a sickness and not a criminal sentence on infected people. Therefore, it should not be an offence to be sick or a crime to be infected, and people who have passed through infection or recovery should not be stigmatized for nobody knows whose turn it will be tomorrow.
“The National Assembly and our leadership have been at the fore of the battle to reduce the impact of this pandemic on the people of Nigeria. At the battlefront, occasional casualties are inevitable, especially when the warriors are not super human.
“The public is hereby enjoined to disregard and consign to the trash bin, this misinformation. Sahara Reporters and other harbingers of fake news will do well to observe the ethics of professional journalism and investigate their news as the continued bias for sensational journalism only lends credence to the case for the regulation of social media.
“It is also instructive to note that although the House of Representatives still works 5 days a week at committee level, it has been sitting only once a week since the pandemic broke and today’s adjournment until next week, is consistent with its Covid-19 safety precaution. This pattern will continue until the commencement of our summer break on 23rd July”, the Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs added.
Meanwhile, the Minority leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu and members of his immediate family, as well as his domestic staff have tested negative to the dreaded Covid-19.
Elumelu in a statement he personally signed said the second round of tests for himself and his household became necessary in the light of rumours that lawmakers are testing positive to the virus and are hiding their true status even from the leadership.
“I, Hon Ndudi Elumelu, Minority Leader House of Representatives, did another Covid-19 test on Friday 3rd of July with my family and other 11 domestic staff, and am happy to announce that the results came out negative”, Elumelu said.
The Minority Leader urged his colleagues and staff of the National Assembly to do same so as to dispell speculations that the House may have been plagued with the virus.