President Muhammadu Buhari may extend the ongoing lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja due to the rise in the spread of coronavirus cases in Nigeria.
On Friday, April 10, 2020, coronavirus cases in Nigeria rose to 305 after 17 news cases were confirmed in seven states.
The virus has now spread to 19 states including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Currently, Lagos, Abuja and Osun have the highest number of cases at 163, 56 and 20 respectively.
Recall that President Buhari announced the lockdown of Lagos, Ogun and Abuja on Sunday, March 29, 2020, for two weeks to address the spread of the virus in Nigeria.
However, the possibility of extending the lockdown was announced on Friday, April 10, 2020, following a meeting between President Buhari and members of the Presidential Task Force on coronavirus, led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
Speaking during a media briefing on Friday, the SGF said the decision to extend the lockdown or not is exclusively the responsibility of the president.
He said, “The PTF, a small committee of us, this afternoon, had the privilege of further briefing Mr President on the assessment of our response to COVID-19 and, at the appropriate moment, we will continue to adequately inform Nigerians of government decisions.
“The decision on whether to extend the lockdown or not is exclusively the decision or responsibility of the President. Ours (the PTF) is to provide him with first-hand information that would inform that decision. So, I cannot speculate on that now. But looking at what is happening in other climes, you would be able to deduce what might likely happen, but I’m not in a position to speculate on that.
“I believe strongly that the information required to make that decision would be made available to Mr President, who would look at the holistic picture. It is not only the information that comes from the Presidential Task Force that would inform his decision; there are other sources of information that come to him as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and he would consider all of them in arriving at a decision.”
Earlier on Friday, Mustapha had told journalists after leading the PTF to meet the president that President Buhari urged Nigerians to exercise more patience and understanding as the government continued to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.