• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Buhari’s Aide confirms Omicron virus spread in Presidency


The Omicron variant of the rampaging coronavirus has taken a toll on some of President Mohammadu Buhari’s aides as the virus continues to spread across the Federal Capital Territory FCT.

One of the President’s aides, Garba Shehu, who confirmed to Businessday on Friday that he was attacked by virus, however, assured that he “ had overcome it and was fine “ as at the time of filing in this report.”

Speaking to Businessday in a telephone conversation, Shehu who is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, had despite the attacks continued with his official assignments, indicating that he had overcome the attacks.

“Yes, we thank God Almighty, we have managed it here and overcome the attacks”

Businessday could not, however, confirm similar attacks on the State House Permanent Secretary who was reported to have suffered similar attacks.

The President had on Friday received Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other top government officials as part of the traditional homage on Christmas Day, amidst strict observance of the Covid-19 protocol, at his official residence

The homage was carried out in strict compliance with the advice issued earlier by the Presidential Steering Committee PSC on Covid-19, over the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the virus.

The homage is the traditional practice whereby government officials visit the President during important celebrations, to felicitate with him and his family.

Only very few government officials were allowed to participate in compliance with current restrictions imposed on such gatherings, by the federal government.

The Nigerian Center for Disease Control, NCDC, had reported a total of 2356 cases across the entire country, out of which 103 were recorded in the Federal Capital Territory FCT, as of the 24th of December, 2021.

The FCT came 4th after Lagos (822), Rivers ( 119), Kwara (107).

The Presidential Steering Committee PSC, in the FCT, had warned of another possible enforcement of the non- Pharmaceutical protocols following the rising cases of the Omicron virus.

Before the homage, Vice President Osinbajo had presided over the Christmas service at the Aso Villa Chapel, as part of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

The Vice President who prayed for peace for the country predicted that “Nigerians irrespective of different backgrounds will prosper, experience peace, and will be blessed in everything that they do”

The Vice President also delivered the sermon at the service attended by his wife, Dolapo Osinbajo, and other dignitaries including some members of the Diplomatic Corps.

Read more South Africa dither to impose lockdown as Omicron surge subsides

Approached by State House Correspondents after the service, Prof. Osinbajo said “ he was speaking to all Nigerians,” while delivering the Christmas Day Service sermon entitled “Why the Angels Rejoiced.”

“My message for Christmas is that God himself is with us, and that is very important because it means that we will prosper in everything that we do, and we will be blessed in everything that we do.”

According to him, “God does not discriminate in his blessings. The Bible says that he causes the rain to fall and the sun to shine on the good and the evil alike.

“So, God does not even discriminate. He makes sure that he blesses everyone. And on this special occasion, I believe that every Nigerian should receive this great blessing that God has for us.

“I believe that we are entering into a season of God’s great blessings of peace and prosperity and all shall be well with our country, in Jesus name.”

Earlier in his sermon during the Church service, Osinbajo also urged Christians to remain steadfast in their belief in Christ Jesus, noting that the salvation of man will only come by the grace of God.

Citing the Scriptures, the VP said the good news of the birth of Jesus Christ renews man’s hope for salvation especially the knowledge that “God is with us”.

He said the joy of Christ’s birth by the angels and others who witnessed it is evidence of the blessings that will be received by all and everyone that shares in the good news.