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President Buhari begs Nigerians to stay at home to beat Coronavirus

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday begged Nigerians to adhere to the stay-at-home directive of government to enable a collective win against the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement sent out Saturday through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and publicity, Garba Shehu, the President wholeheartedly thanked all Nigerians for their patience, resolve and strong determination to defeat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
The President’s plea to citizens came as the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases climbed to 305 as at Friday with seven deaths amid anxiety around whether the 2-weeks lockdown order which is expected to expire on Sunday would be extended or not.
While Nigerians await any further pronouncements, the president said government “realizes that today, there will be sons and daughters unable to visit their parents, and elders that are isolated from young ones. And there will be those who live day-to-day, eating as they earn, who
face real and present suffering.

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“No elected government could ask more of the citizens of the country that elected them than today we ask of you. But we must ask you – once more – to observe restrictions on movement where they are in place, and follow the instructions of our scientists and medical advisers: stay home, wash your hands, save lives.
“The freedoms we ask you to willingly forsake today will only last as long as our scientific advisers declare they are necessary. But they are essential – world over – to halt and defeat the spread of this virus.”
Buhari emphasized that for those who suffer most egregiously, Government has announced multiple measures to assist, including 70,000 tonnes of grain which is being released from the National Strategic Grain Reserves for distribution to those in most  need; distribution of small cash payments are also being made, and will continue to be made by the federal government in the states and local government areas.
“We ask you to listen and follow public announcements via the mass media for instructions as to how to receive this government support – and learn of more public assistance in the coming days.
“All that the Government is asking you to endure is because nowhere in the world today is there any known way of defeating this pandemic.
“There is no vaccine. And that means there are choices to be made: between continuing as usual, or accepting the restrictions even when they come with unintended consequences,” he pleaded, noting that at this darkest hour, it remains government’s duty to offer citizens the full and unvarnished truth.
“This is a global pandemic. 210 countries and territories across the globe are affected. We cannot expect others to come to our assistance. No one is coming to defeat this virus for us, instead, the defeat of the virus in our country will be in our hands, alone.
“We cannot wait for others. We can only depend on ourselves now.  And so we must  – and we will – end this outbreak ourselves as Nigerians, together,” the President stressed.
Source: Business Day.
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