The Federal Government at the weekend advised Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to safety guidelines in order to curtail further spread of COVID-19.
According to the Presidency, this is necessary in order to avert fresh lockdown.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement titled “Presidency: Nigerians should comply with mandatory mask-wearing to avert lockdowns.”
The Presidency stated its worry over reports of non-compliance; with the regulations that make mask-wearing and observation of social distancing in the public mandatory.
While appealing to Nigerians to cooperate with the government to ensure the success of the policy; the presidential aide said Buhari introduced the order with the best of intentions; and not with any motive to punish citizens.
He appealed to state governments, traditional rulers, and also religious leaders to play active roles in the sensitisation and enforcement of the regulations.
The statement read, “The Buhari administration is most reluctant to lock down the country; and continues to emphasise the non-pharmaceutical measures; and the only way to avert lockdowns is to observe these measures; as put in place by the Presidential Task Force.
“Nigerians have come a long way from the dreaded lockdown; and the administration is unhappy about any prospects of bringing it back; as many citizens will not have food on the table without venturing out on a day-to-day business.
“Nigerians are required to wear masks, wash hands regularly with soap and clean water; and keep a safe distance with anybody not in your household; hoping that this will help check the spread of COVID-19.
“Though vaccine availability is within reach; the propensity of the public for noncompliance weakens the fight against the virus.
“Nigerians must ignore baseless conspiracy theories that seek to deny the reality of the pandemic by complying with the order to wear masks.”
Shehu said Nigerians have a duty to protect themselves as well as others in this difficult global health crisis.
He added that “no one has immunity against this pandemic. Ignoring health warnings and refusing to comply with safety measures does more harm than good.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a major threat to public health and wearing of masks; social distancing in public places; as well as the basic hygiene are necessary measures that have to be taken to safeguard the well-being of our citizens.”