The Federal Government on Tuesday said only President Muhammadu Buhari can decide if the lockdown order placed on Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, over coronavirus pandemic will be extended or not.
President Buhari had a week ago ordered lockdown of Lagos and Ogun states as well as FCT for 14 days to checkmate the spread of the pandemic in the country.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha, disclosed this while responding to questions from newsmen at the State House, Marina, Lagos.
He said only the president had the power to grant extension or not, but noted that Buhari did say in the national broadcast that the lockdown would be for 14 days in the first instance.
According to him, the presidential task force had come to Lagos for a revaluation and would report back to the president, adding that President Buhari gave the order to lock down Lagos, Ogun and FCT based on advice from the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, among others.
“Basically this is part of the consultation, we are looking at the objectives that were set when the lockdown and quarantine declaration was signed by the president and subsequently by other states.
“Before the end of the week, we will do an evaluation and see how the objective that were set are being met. At the end of that exercise, we will have the responsibility of reporting back to the president. The president did say the declaration was on the advice of Minister of Health and experts that informed his decision in signing of the quarantine declaration 2020.
“At the end of our valuation, our advice and recommendations will be presented to the president and at that point, he alone can take that decision when the lockdown would either be extended or it will stop at the expiration of 14 days,” the SGF said.
“In his address to the nation, he did say 14 days in the first instance, so it is open, it is based on what has happened within these 14 days, have they been met, have they satisfied the objectives, has it gone in the direction we wanted it go?
“If that has been achieved, he will look at all the information available to him as the president of Nigeria and I can assure you that he will take a decision that is in the best interest of the people of Nigeria,” Mustapha added.
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