Coronavirus: Senate president asks senators to subject themselves to test

• As lawmakers ask Buhari to address Nigerians

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has asked certain senators who recently returned to the country to subject themselves to test to be certified free of the deadly coronavirus.

Investigation revealed that some of the senators returned from a trip to the United Kingdom, penultimate weekend.

Acting Chairman Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Godwin Akwashiki, made the disclosure on Thursday at a briefing with newsmen. He said it was part of the resolution reached at the closed-door session the President of Senate had with lawmakers.

He said: “One of the actions we have taken from our discussion at the closed-door session, the Senate President announced to the 109 senators, he urged those that just return from foreign trip to go and do the test from tomorow because as leaders we should show example to others.

“Those are the things we took into consideration in the Senate closed-door session today. It is better to be late than never.

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“We are all matured people, we don’t need somebody to tell you what to do.”

He further revealed that the leadership of the Senate was against the total shutdown of the National Assembly and subsequently took the middle course of the partial shutdown.

“The decision we took during the Executive session today, even though some senators wanted the National Assembly to be shut down today.

“At the end of the discussion, the Senate President said we cannot just wake up and just shut down the complex.

“We all came through election if we are closing down the national assembly there are ways to do it, he said it is because of his intervention that most of the things are going, even yesterday that one of the machines they sent to Nigeria, he said he has called the Minister to go to the airport and take delivery, he can not just wake up and shut down the national assembly.

“So we decided that we should avoid public hearing because public hearing will bring in a lot of people and shaking of hands.

“The influx of people into the complex should be limited by security, we only want the senators, media and the legislative aides.”

Asked by newsmen when President Buhari would give address the nation, Senator Akwashiki said the National Assembly leadership was in touch with his aides.

“The basic principles of every government in line with section 14 subsection two of the 1999 constitution is to protect lives and properties.

“Based on that yesterday, Senate resolved to ask the President under matter of urgent public importance through Senator Danjuma Goje that the President should address Nigerians and if possible to show the way forward to reduce tension of panicking.

“We have a process of our resolution. You don’t just give an information and in 24 hours, you expect the president to act.

“If we make resolution, we have to communicate to the president. It is the prerogative of the clerk to communicate the adviser of national assembly matters in office of the president. I want to believe the President is studying that resulolution.

“Today is Thursday, it is too early for us to question why the President has not addressed the nation.

“You know that the procedures for the president to address, I want to believe, in the next one week if he doesn’t address the nation, the leadership of the Senate will engage the Executive arm of Government because it is a serious issue and the situation we find ourselves.

“The disease does not know a senator or President or a farmer once you catch it, you are going.

“I want to ask for a little patient with the president to address the nation.”

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