The Presidency said Sunday that there was the urgent need for Nigerians to adhere to COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, especially wearing of face masks to avert lockdown.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said government is worried about the increase in reported cases of coronavirus and non compliance with the Executive Order on mandatory use of face masks signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The statement reads: “The Presidency is worried by reports of non-compliance with just signed Executive Order that makes mask wearing and observation of social distancing in the public mandatory, appealing to Nigerians to give their maximum cooperation for success of the policy.
“President Muhammadu Buhari introduced the order with the best of intentions and not with any motive to punish citizens.
“The Presidency appeals to State Governments, traditional rulers and religious leaders to play active roles in the sensitization and enforcement of the Executive Order.
“To achieve this, COVID-19 task forces and committees should persuade members of the public to cooperate with the government in achieving compliance and avoid crude methods that may create resistance and resentment, thereby defeating the primary goal of the Executive Order.
“The Buhari administration is most reluctant to lockdown the country and continues to emphasize the non-pharmaceutical measures and the only way to avert lockdowns is to observe these measures as put in place by the Presidential Task Force.
“Nigerians are required to wear masks, wash hands regularly with soap and clean water, and keep safe distance with anybody not in your household, hoping that this will help check spread of COVID-19.
“Protecting public health is one of the sacred duties of any responsible government and the administration will not abdicate that responsibility.”