President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday received the fourth reports of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, applauding the team for a job well done.
Speaking to State Correspondents at the end of the closed-door meeting, PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, said he presented the progress and challenges recorded by the PTF to the President.
According to him, the team also offered suggestions on ways forward in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, quoted the President as applauding the achievements of the PTF and other frontline workers and stakeholders.
“What we basically did was to submit the fourth interim report to him and to appraise him of the progress that has been achieved in the course of the last two weeks of the extension of the eased phase one of the lockdown.
“We also discussed some of the challenges that we’ve had and suggested what we need to put in place, going forward.
“As far as the work of the PTF is concerned, he was upfront with commendations.
“He (Buhari) assured us that the nation is fully behind us in the work that he has charged us to do and that he’s also appreciative of the work of the frontline workers, particularly the medical personnel, the security personnel and the people who come in contact with the patients in the time of collection of samples, the testing and the care that they are giving,’’ Mustapha said.
According to him, PTF also discussed the issue of compliance and the President said “we should continue to appeal to Nigerians and drive home the point that it’s a personal responsibility for each and every Nigerian to undertake to ensure that he keeps himself safe and by extension keeping his family, loved ones and community safe’’.
He assured that the PTF would continue to drive the message.
“It’s a message of persuasion; it’s a message that should make people take personal responsibility for their own protection and health and we will not relent on that’’.
On the deliberate refusal of Kogi and Cross River states to be in tune with the present reality in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, Mustapha said that the issue was discussed during the PTF meeting with the president.
“We discussed challenges generally and I believe that in the context of those discussions, certain steps will be taken.
“We are doing everything to ensure that the entire nation is on the same page with one response.
“It is very important that we realise that no state is an island unto itself, when you deal with public health matters.
“Whatever happens in a particular locality has the consequences of spilling off to other constituencies.
“That is the message that we’ll continue to drive in our pursuit of getting everybody to be on board.
“I can assure you that there’s no island that exists as far as COVID-19 is concerned in this country.
“We must integrate all the responses from the different segments of the community and the state and have everybody to be on the same page.
“We will continue to pursue that and we must also ensure that it happens.’’