From Bello Wakili

The Presidency has called on Nigerians to comply with mandatory Mask wearing to avert lockdowns

A statement by the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity Mallam Garba Shehu said The Presidency was worried by reports of non-compliance with the just signed Executive Order that makes mask wearing and observation of social distancing in public mandatory

According to the statement, 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.

It explained that to achieve this, COVID-19 task forces and committees should persuade members of the public to cooperate with government in achieving compliance and avoid crude methods that may create resistance and resentment, thereby defeating the primary goal of the Executive Order.

The statement noted that the administration was reluctant to lockdown the country and would continue to emphasize the non-pharmaceutical measures to avert it.

It explained that Nigerians were 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 would help check the spread of COVID-19.

Though vaccine availability was within reach, the propensity of the public for noncompliance weakens the fight against the virus.

It noted that nigerians must ignore baseless conspiracy theories that seek to deny the reality of the pandemic by complying with the order to wear masks.

The statement further said COVID-19 pandemic was a major threat to public health and wearing of masks, social distancing in public places and basic hygiene were necessary measures to safeguard the well-being of Nigerians

It added that protecting public health was one of the sacred duties of any responsible government and the administration would not abdicate that responsibility.