- A former federal lawmaker, Hon. Garba Shehu Matazu, says Atiku Abubakar has been vindicated over comments he made in February
- The former vice president had advised the Nigerian government to shut the country's borders as far back as in February
- Ekiti state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, recently agreed, saying the spread of COVID-19 could have been stemmed if Nigeria had shut its borders earlier
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Renowned educationist, politician and a three-time member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Garba Shehu Matazu has underscored the need to adopt a non-partisan approach in dealing with the challenges posed by the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
Matazu made the comment in Abuja on Tuesday, May 5 against the backdrop of the assertion of chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi that the current spate of community spread of COVID-19 could have been stemmed if Nigeria had shut its borders earlier than it did in late March.
Matazu recalled that former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had following the emergence of the first incident case, an Italian, urged the government to consider seriously the prospects of restricting flights from countries and territories with prevalent cases of the disease.
The former federal lawmaker said that weekend’s pronouncement by Governor Fayemi that if Nigeria had shut down its entry ports earlier, the number of cases won’t stop climbing till June and July is a vindication of Atiku’s patriotic call on the government to shut our borders as far back as in February.
Matazu who is also a member of PDP Board of Trustees representing Katsina state noted that if Atiku’s counsel had been taken in good faith for what it is, precious lives of Nigerians would have been saved.
He restated Atiku’s position that what Nigeria needs at this moment is unity and national resolve, and urged government at all levels to eschew partisan politics in the battle to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Every idea put forward must be examined on its merit, and under no circumstance in this emergency situation should a baby be thrown away with the bathwater. All hands, irrespective of party affiliation must be on deck.
“This battle can only be won by putting our best foot forward, and by the central government standing united in a collaborative manner with the state governments,” he said.
Meanwhile, a former presidential candidate, Chris Emejuru, has called on government at all levels to employ new strategy, especially technology in sharing of palliative measures to the real vulnerable Nigerians across the country.
Speaking to journalists via a teleconference interview on Sunday, May 3, Emejuru stated that the right approach and logistics in achieving the purpose of reaching the poor were still lacking.
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