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Buhari declares lockdown in Kano

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… Extends FCT, Lagos, Ogun lockdown

… PDP, Afenifere, others give mixed reaction

… President signs order, throws light on school resumption

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the total lockdown of Kano State for two weeks in a bid to curtail the spread of coronavirus in the state.

  As of April 26, Kano has confirmed 77 cases.

  “With regards to Kano, I have directed the enforcement of a total lockdown for a period of two weeks effective immediately. The Federal Government shall deploy all the necessary human, material and technical resources to support the State in controlling and containing the pandemic and preventing the risk of further spread to neighboring States,” he said.

  Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had earlier in the day decried the alleged neglect of the state by the federal Task Force Committee on COVID-19 despite the intensity of the situation in the state.

  Over 150 had been buried in three days at three cemeteries in the state. But the state government denied there was a mass death and promised to investigate.

  The president also extended the lockdown order currently in place in Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun States until Monday, May 4.

  Meanwhile, Nigerians from several spectrums have continued to react to yesterday night’s nationwide broadcast by President Muhammadu Buhari during which he extended the lockdown order in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja by one week.

  Making its stand known to newsmen today, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) says that Buhari failed to offer decisive solutions to protect Nigerians from the deadly pandemic.

  National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, gave the party’s reaction in a statement signed by him.

  According to him, PDP is highly disappointed that Buhari did not offer any post- lockdown stimulus to assist Nigerians in the private sector, adding that businesses of the private sector had been crippled by the lockdown and are now faced with the burden of workers’ salaries and business refinancing.

  Ologbondiyan further lamented that apart from the elementary lockdown and alleged failed palliative showboating, Buhari did not offer a decisive solution regarding the production of drugs, testing kits, and management of equipment to safeguard Nigerians, despite the huge resources at the disposal of his administration.

  Also, in their separate reaction, Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, today criticised lockdown as not being effective in tackling COVID-19 spread.

  Spokesperson of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said the pandemic was worsening in Nigeria despite the lockdown.

  According to Odumakin, Buhari lacks the wherewithal to fix a conundrum that other leaders find elsusive.

  “Even world leaders have no answers to the questions coronavirus has posed not to talk of our clueless president in Nigeria. Recently, the FG had said 90 percent of the people who recovered from the virus were not given any treatment.

Let me state that they are not doing anything. They are just keeping people at home perhaps to lower the spread, but despite the lockdown, things are getting worse.

When the lockdown was implemented, we had only 112 cases with about 4 cases per day, but today we have over 1,000 with over 40 cases daily,” he said.

  When asked to react to the lockdown extension, Odumakin said the federal government was currently in an impasse.

  “They are in a fix, globally, there is no vaccine or cure, our government is just pretending to be seen as doing something,” he added.

  Meanwhile, Presidency has made some clarifications on school resumption following the gradual relaxation of the lockdown ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

  Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said candidates about to take West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and other examinations may be allowed to go back to school.

  “If you look at Germany, they gradually reduced their lockdown by opening the schools for those who have exams. Same may apply here as those who are to write WAEC and take examinations may be allowed to resume to take their exams. The Presidential Task Force will be the ones to decide on when to re-open,” he said.

  It will be recalled that President Buhari’s broadcast was silent on resumption of schools in the areas under federal lockdown order.

  Similarly, President Buhari today signed the Proclamation Order on the General Management of Covid-19 in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, the Federal Capital Territory and other States in Nigeria as contained in his national broadcast, yesterday.

  Special Adviser to the President Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed in a statement.

  According to him, Buhari signed the order in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 3 of the Quarantine Act, CAP Q2 Laws of the Federation 2004.

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