COVID-19: Social distancing, washing of hands, staying at home not punitive – FG

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COVID-19: Social distancing, washing of hands, staying at home not punitive – FG

Boss Mustapha

Nigerians have been enjoined not to see the protocols of social distancing, washing of hands as well as staying at home as punitive but rather necessary measures meant to fight the deadly Coronavirus to standstill.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, made the call while reacting to the demise of the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, in Abuja on Saturday.

According to him, the demise of the Chief of Staff is a clear indication that COVID-19 is real and it is a matter of life and death.

He, therefore, urged all Nigerians to take the deadly virus serious and adhere to the advice of health authorities on how to prevent the spread of the disease.

“It has come to ravage our people, ravage our health and ravage our wealth as a nation so we must take it more seriously and the advisory that have gone out about social distancing, washing of hands and staying at home are not punitive, they are meant for our good.

“We have seen it now, that it has come home to us. If we were thinking of people who had passed on as a result of COVID-19 from a distance, it is not far now.

“It is just like a brother or friend or a relative that has passed on. This is a man we worked with on a daily basis, you see him virtually every day so it’s a big lesson that our people should not joke with this, we must wash our hands, stay at home, use sanitisers and follow all the advisories religiously,’’he said.

The SGF, who described the death of Abba Kyari as a great loss to the nation, said the deceased did a great job for Nigeria.

He said: “It is a personal loss to me, the President and to the nation. I believe Malam Abba will be remembered for so many things. He has done a great job for the nation.

“Malam Abba was a very good man and very determined, intellectually upright and he had a lot of foresight.

“A lot of people didn’t understand Malam Abba but I worked with him for three years and I can tell you that he is a wonderful person, he is a good man; deep down in his heart, he always meant well and I looked up to him as a senior brother in the course of the work that we did in the last three years,” he said.

Mustapha further revealed that the deceased had a deep sense of humour and was passionate about President Buhari’s legacies.

“If I show you my phone, you will see some of the things that he was sending to me even when he was confirmed positive with COVID-19, he was still sending jokes. Every piece of joke he picked up in the internet he would send it to me,’’ he said.

The SGF acknowledged that Kyari had demonstrated a high level of commitment to his job and he had a passion for the legacies of President Buhari and in everything he did.

“He never cared whose toes he stepped on, provided it was in the attainment of the legacies he believed President Buhari ought to leave.

“He was always very considerate. You might hold different opinions but he would drill the matter until he convinces you or you convince him,’’ he added.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Ali Pantami, who led the funeral prayer at the Gudu Cemetery, where the chief of staff was laid to rest, stressed the need to individually pray for the soul of the departed.

He said the deceased, according to Islamic injunction, had ended well because he died on Friday, and his death was as a result of a pandemic.

Pantami, who cited relevant verses of the Holy Quran to justify this position, advised against unnecessary congregation in the name of condolence mission.

“In order to promote social distancing from here all of us are supposed to go to our houses.

“And finally before we leave (Cemetery) here religiously we are urged to pray individually for him.

“So, when you are finished with your prayers then you can just go,’’ he said.


Vanguard News Nigeria 

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