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Reps to embark on two weeks recess over fear of coronavirus



Reps to suspend plenary for two weeks over fear of coronavirus

The House of Representatives on Tuesday reached a consensus to suspend sitting for two weeks for fear of coronavirus spreading to the National Assembly.

The two-week suspension of plenary is also to enable the federal lawmakers to be tested for the virus, the house said on Tuesday

The witnessngr reports that the consensus was consequent upon a motion moved by Mr. Josiah Idem from Akwa Ibom at the plenary on Tuesday.

During the debate on the motion, most of the lawmakers bemoaned the lack of preparedness to tackle the malignant virus at the national assembly in the event of the infection of staff or any of the visitors.

The members of the house subsequently adopted the motion unanimously.

Contributing to the motion, the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, highlighted the importance of the motion and prayed that the lawmakers adjourn for two weeks to allow adequate preparation for the disease at the National Assembly Complex.

“This house should suspend plenary for two weeks for adequate handling of this matter and to allow management to put measures so that all of us can be be tested,” he said.

“This is a very serious matter… otherwise you don’t know who you are shaking.”

Isiaka Ibrahim from Ogun said the federal government “needs to do more to be pro-active”.

“The facilities are not here presently,” he said, adding: “There are only two control centres, one in Lagos and one in Abuja. Nigeria is standing at zero as far as this is concerned.

“This is a wake up call for all of us. We are not talking about coronavirus. What is the case after coronavirus?”

Awaji-Inombek Abiante from Rivers state said there is nothing to check the spread of the virus to the National Assembly Complex.

“We brought down a motion to bring down our brothers and sisters in Wuhan for fear that we don’t have the capacity to handle it. Now, our fears have caught up with us,” he said.

“We saw where ministers were praising themselves that Nigeria was ready for the coronavirus. We should be more pro-active. Here, there is nothing to check any man who is symptomatic.

“We don’t have anything at all. Are we ready for what is coming to us? The answer is no. Let us make contributions that will indeed better the future of this country and that of Nigerians.”

Nasiru Ali from Kano state said it is a sad thing that Nigeria has only three isolation centres despite being Africa’s most populous country.

Nigeria currently has only one case of the disease in Lagos — an Italian who was diagnosed of the infection last week

The prayer of members was unanimously ratified.