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Coronavirus: No Villa shutdown lurking, says Presidency

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  • Denies banning of some media houses
  • Says no need to panic

 

The Presidency on Wednesday has given reason this week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting was suspended.

“The Council was suspended because of the size. You have over 50 people seated in the Council Chambers whenever the meeting holds and that is not advisable at a time like this, said spokesman Femi Adesina.

“But if there would be a very important decision to be taken, you can always summon the relevant people, three, four or five and hold a small meeting and arrive at a decision.

“It does not mean that one man is going to be taking all the decisions. Of course yes there are executive decisions but the ones that must pass through consultations of which must have a buy in of the federal executive council can always be discussed at a smaller meeting.”

On the present situation of things in the Villa, Adesina said: “Well, things are a bit on a low key, it doesn’t mean that the State House is shut down, it’s just that things are a bit on the low key just like the rest of the country. The rest of the country is also on a low key, there is partial lockdown in most parts of the country. So, what is happening at the State House can also be called a partial lockdown but not a complete lockdown.”

On the reported media ban from the State House, the Presidential spokesman said: “Ban is a wrong word. Anybody that uses that word ban is just operating from a mindset and you know that Nigerians love conspiracy theories but this one is no conspiracy at all. There is no ban.

“What happened is that in the press gallery you have about 108 journalists in that single hall and it goes contrary to the spirit of the times. The times dictates that you don’t have too many people congregated in one place. Imagine 108 journalists if one of them happens to catch the virus, he spreads it among all the journalists. So we said for now let them stay away, not much is happening for now. But we picked a certain number,  representative of the media, they will come in, if there is anything they will cover and those outside will also not miss because they would be a system in which they can share reports. So band will be a wrong word, it will be operating from a mindset of conspiracy and there is no conspiracy here at all.”

On other measures adopted by the presidency to curtail the spread of COVID-19, Adesina said: “Of course you know when you come into the State House you have about three, four, five spots in which your temperature is tested and you have to sanitize your hand. And if you come in and your temperature is way above a certain figure, then you will be advised to go for test and take care of yourself. So I think so far so good. Before you will go into the general area you will meet about three areas of test and before you get into the President’s area you will meet like another two. So I believe that a lot has been done to ensure that those who operate in the presidency are taken  care of.”

 

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