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.
KanyiDaily recalls that President Buhari slammed the lockdown on March 30, 2020, as part of the measures to halt the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
Ten days into the lockdown, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, declined to confirm whether the restrictions will end after 14 days.
According to Mustapha, his panel would review the situation and give President Buhari the advice that will enable him take the decision on whether to terminate the restriction or extend it. He said:
“In his (Buhari) 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 the objectives been met, have they satisfied the objectives, has it gone in the direction we wanted it to 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.”
“It is only Buhari who can say that the lockdown will be extended or not. “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 states (governors).
“Before the end of the week, we will do an evaluation and see how the objectives that were set are being met.
“We will have the responsibility of reporting back to Mr. President who did say the declaration was on the advice of minister of health and experts that informed his decision in signing the Quarantine Declaration 2020.
“At the end of our evaluation, our advice and recommendation will be presented to Mr. President and at that point, he and he alone can take that decision whether the lockdown would either be extended or it will stop at the expiration of 14 days.”
Mustapha said the presidential taskforce had come to Lagos for a revaluation and report back to the president, adding that Buhari lockdown Lagos, Ogun and FCT based on advice from the Minister of Health.