In a bit to contain the spread of coronavirus outbreak, Nigeria Governors’ Forum has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare an overnight curfew and also make wearing face masks in public compulsory.
The governors in a letter dated April 24 and addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha also want the president to approve the ban on inter-state movement.
The Chairman of the forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State said he and his colleagues believe those actions would help to curtail the spread of the pandemic in Nigeria.
In the evening of Sunday, March 27, 2020, when Buhari ordered a 14-day lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to curb the spread of the virus in the country, Nigeria had 111 cases of the pandemic.
When the lockdown elapsed on Monday, April 13, coronavirus cases in the country had increased to 323. The rise in the spread prompted the president's decision to extend the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja by another 14 days.
However, despite the lockdown in almost all states across the country, the cases of the virus continue to rise as Nigeria now has over a thousand cases.
As a result, the governors in their letter to the SGF, who’s the head of task force on coronavirus (COVID-19), said they would like to have their input in the next presidential intervention.
The letter reads, “Recall at that meeting, it was agreed that the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) articulates the issues that it would want to be included in the next Presidential Pronouncement on COVID-19 to have a Uniform and Coordinated Policy on COVID-19 at both the national and sub-national levels.
“Subject to Mr President’s approval, the NGF would want the following incorporated into Mr President’s Pronouncements:
- Inter-state lockdown excluding movement of essential supplies — foods, beverages, medical and pharmaceuticals, petroleum supplies and agricultural products;
- Internal free movement but with restrictions on large gatherings and assemblies;
- Overnight curfews;
- Lockdown of flights
- Compulsory use of face masks/coverings in the public.”
However, when the ongoing lockdown elapses on Monday, April 27, 2020, President Buhari is expected to address Nigerians on the next line of action.