The senate and the House of Representatives have on Wednesday directed President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, address the nation on the coronavirus outbreak.
During plenary sessions, the two legislative chambers to borrow examples from Vatican and Saudi Arabia where public gatherings have been banned, to prevent the spread of the pandemic coronavirus. The Senate urged Buhari to tighten the closure of borders to prevent coronavirus-infected persons from gaining access to the country.
According to the senators, the national address is for the President to tell Nigerians what effort the government is making to contain the virus.
The Senators are peeved that other Presidents around the world are addressing their citizenry and in Nigeria, Buhari has remained quiet.
The Senate gave the directive following a motion by Senator Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central) on the need for Buhari to assure Nigerians of government effort on containing the virus.
Leading the debate, Goje said “there is a need for President Muhammadu Buhari to address the issue of coronavirus and assure Nigerians of government effort. Other Presidents in other nations are doing it and there is a need for Mr. President to address Nigerians.”
During plenary on Wednesday, Senators took turns to urge Buhari to address the nation, saying the silence by the President is no longer golden.
For Senator Barau Jibril (Kano North), apart from addressing the nation, there is an urgent need for the Federal government “to stimulate the economy so that it does not go down for the generality of people to suffer.”
Senators Sam Egwu stressed the need for enforcement of the mandatory quarantine method and that it should be applicable to all Nigerians including la makers.
“Any Senator who travels outside the country and comes back should quarantine him or herself for two weeks before coming to the Chamber,” he stated.
The House on its part directed the management of the National Assembly to immediately make arrangements to test entrants into the National Assembly, be they members or staff and banned visitors to the National Assembly.
The House mandated the Minister of Health to be addressing the House every week on the state of the coronavirus in the country.
The Green Chamber also called for a national day of prayer to seek God’s intervention in the coronavirus pandemic.