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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

COVID-19: Outrage as Reps resolve to shut down for 2 weeks

Condemnation has continued to trail the House of Representatives’ resolution to suspend plenary for two weeks to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the National Assembly.

Civil Society groups which spoke to Daily Trust condemned the decision of the lawmakers, saying it is unjustifiable.

Though, the House did not specify when the plenary would be suspended, the Green Chamber, in a resolution at plenary on Tuesday, said the two-week break would give members opportunity to be tested for the virus and make adequate preparation against spread of the disease in the National Assembly.

The resolution was sequel to the motion; tagged “Need for Emergency Response to Tackling of Coronavirus in Nigeria”, sponsored by Idem Uyinan (PDP, Akwa Ibom).

The Minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta) who added the prayer that the House should close for two weeks, which was unanimously adopted, said the period would allow the management to put in place adequate preventive measures.

“So that all of us can be tested. This is a very serious matter because you don’t know who you are having a hand shake with,” he said.

Also, another lawmaker, Isiaka Ibrahim, lamented that Nigeria is at zero level in terms of control centres.

Awaji-Inombek Abiante, (PDP, Rivers) on his part, regretted that the House stepped down a motion asking for the transportation of stranded Nigerians back home from China, saying, “now, our fears have caught up with us”.

Still speaking on the motion, Obinna Chidoka (PDP, Anambra) called on government to put in place proactive measures that will prevent the spread of the virus in the country.

He noted that outside the health sector in Nigeria, there was no place that people patronise more than the National Assembly, and called for serious preventive measures at the complex.

Chidoka also advised government to establish more isolation centres, and for the legislature to be strict in oversight functions to ensure that the health sector lives up to expectation.

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