The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has urged the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and other members of the team that attended the funeral of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, in Abuja to self-isolate for 14 days.
It implored the affected persons to excuse themselves from the daily briefing of the panel during the period, threatening protest in the event of disobedience.
In a statement, yesterday in Abuja, chairman of the council, Emmanuel Ogbeche, called on the SGF and others to “demonstrate dignified responsibility by not putting journalists and others who attend the briefing in harm’s way.”
He added: “Following the protocol already established by the PTF and the Presidency in asking all those who attended the funeral rites of the late Mallam Abba Kyari, former Chief of Staff to the President, the NUJ urges in particular members of the PTF, who were at the Defence House and Gudu cemetery, to respectfully not attend the daily COVID-19 briefing until after the 14-day isolation.”
Ogbeche said anything to the contrary would further cast doubt on the integrity of the task force and jeopardise the little gains it had so far achieved.
He advised reporters covering the event to protest, and possibly, stage a walkout if any of the affected PTF members show up.
He stated that the council was restating its calls to media organisations to provide PPEs and hazard allowances for those covering the COVID-19 crisis, insisting that the union would tackle erring establishments after the lockdown.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said the government’s most compelling assignment was to eliminate the pestilence as quickly as possible.
He harped on the obedience of existing guidelines like hand washing, sanitising and wearing of facemasks as well as social distancing and staying indoors to contain its spread.
In his tribute to Kyari, the former governor of Lagos State described him as a single-minded patriot in the execution of government’s vision.
Besides, the Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF), Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, labelled the departed presidential aide a great technocrat who meant well for the country.
Also yesterday, erstwhile Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, said the Borno indigene’s passage was a big loss to the nation and the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
He prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased.
Source: Guardian NG