Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday, asked the Federal Government to suspend flights from the countries with a high prevalence of coronavirus to further protect Nigerians from the scourge.
He also said the government should be decisive in dealing with the challenges posed by the global outbreak and ensure the protection of the citizens.
Atiku in a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe and made available to Tribune Online, said suspending flights from the countries affected by the virus was necessary until we build up our ability to contain the coronavirus.
He said his call was a patriotic one on the Federal Government of Nigeria to take every reasonable step to protect the people of the country irrespective of their political affiliation.
Atiku said, “Despite the commendable efforts of our patriotic health officials, it will be recalled that to date, we are yet to identify and or locate multiple passengers who flew in with the index case from Italy. They could be anywhere.
“We must, therefore, err on the side of caution. We cannot afford to broaden the possibility of future infections. The economic impact of a widespread infestation of the virus in Nigeria will be catastrophic and will affect our national security, and status as Africa’s leading economy.
“The ravages of this scourge, which has officially been classified as a global pandemic, must not be allowed to test our already fragile economy.
“I urge that every political and any other differences be put aside. On my part, I am first a Nigerian, and I am willing and ready to work with anybody, at anytime, at whatever cost, to ensure the safety of this country, which is the only country we have to call our home, and her peoples.
“We must act now. We must put Nigeria and her citizens first. We must ensure that our national policy is deliberately tailored to protect our most excellent national resource, the great Nigerian people.”