In view of the growing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic with a total of 27 identified cases as at Sunday, the Nigerian opposition under the aegis of the Coalition of United political Parties (CUPP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rise up to his responsibilities and be proactive.
In a statement signed by the opposition coalition spokesman, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, the group urged president Buhari to wake up from his slumber and give the nation the leadership it urgently needs in this time of national crisis.
The CUPP charged the president to work closely with the National Assembly and the 36 states’ governors to issue an executive order backed by Parliament within the next 48 hours for free and mandatory coronavirus testing for all citizens especially those who recently got into the country to help ensure early detection and identification of infected people who have not shown any symptoms of the virus.
This, the group said will also make it a lot easier to track all possible contacts of the carriers.
The statement read in part: “Mr. President the virus is on the move now, stop sleeping, do the job you are paid well to do. Let all hospitals be mandated to run free tests and let all citizens be encouraged to go for test.
“An emergency law should be made by parlimamet backing free testing wth necessary funding like most nations have done and also a law making it an offence for citizens to refuse testing.
Part of the one trillion Naira released by the Central Bank of Nigeria should be used to fund this process.
“Remember that the primary responsibility of government under Section 14 is the protection of lives and properties. Get your loyalists in the parliament who passed your borrowing plan for $22.7b foreign loan without debate and without sighting the details, to pass anti-COVID-19 legislation including free and mandatory testing immediately. And for the avoidance of doubt, this is an emergency.”