OrderPaperToday– President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has urged his colleagues who recently returned from trips outside the country to go and have themselves tested for COVID-19.

This was disclosed by the spokesman of the Senate, Godiya Akwashiki (APC, Nasarawa) while speaking to journalists on what transpired at an executive session held during plenary on Thursday.

Akwashiki said, “The Senate president announced to the 109 senators, he urged those that just returned from foreign trips to go and do the test from tomorrow because as leaders, we should show example to others. Those are the things we took into consideration in the Senate closed door session today. It is better to be late than never. We all matured people, we do not need somebody to tell you what to do.”

Asked if there was a time frame for the president to act on the resolution to address the nation on Coronavirus, Akwashiki said, “The basic principles of every government in line with Section 14 (2) of the 1999 constitution is to protect lives and properties.

“Based on that, yesterday, Senate resolved to ask the president, under matter of urgent public importance through Senator Goje, that the president should address Nigerians and if possible, to show the way forward to reduce tension of panicking. We have a process of our resolution. You do not just give an information and in 24 hours, you expect the president to act.

“If we make resolutions, we have to communicate to the president. It is the prerogative of the clerk to communicate to the adviser of National Assembly Matters to the Office of the President. I want to believe the president is studying that resolution. Today is Thursday, it is too early for us to question why the president has not addressed the nation

“You know that the procedures for the president to address. I want to believe in the next one week, if he does not address the nation, the leadership of the Senate will engage the executive arm of government because it is a serious issue and the situation we find ourselves, the disease does not know a senator or president or a farmer; once you catch it, you are going. I want to ask for a little patience with the president to address the nation.”

On the closure of the National Assembly, the spokesman said, “The decision we took during the executive session today, even though some senators wanted the National Assembly to be shut down today, at the end of the discussion, the Senate president said we cannot just wake up and just shut down the complex. We all came through election, if we are closing down the National Assembly there are ways to do it. He said it is because of his intervention that most of the things are going.

“He said he has called the minister to go to the airport and take delivery, so he cannot just wake up and shut down the National Assembly. So we decided that we should avoid public hearings because they will bring in a lot of people and shaking of hands.”

He also disclosed that they agreed that the influx of people into the complex should be limited by security to only senators, media and the aides.


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