Coronavirus Watch

No more COVID in Nigeria, let’s stop wearing face mask, rep tells speaker

Author:
Samuel Akpan

Olufemi Adebanjo, a member of the house of representatives, says there are no more cases of COVID-19 in the country. 

Adebanjo, the lawmaker representing Alimosho federal constituency in Lagos, spoke on the floor of the house on Thursday.

He said there have not been cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria and overseas within the past two months, and as such, the wearing of face masks in the chamber should be stopped.

However, Adebanjo’s claim contradicts statistics from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) which has been reporting COVID cases on a daily basis.

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For instance, 84 cases were recorded on Thursday — the same day he demanded that the protocol be scrapped.

“I want to inform the national assembly, especially the house of representatives, concerning the masking of our faces coming to the chamber,” the lawmaker who was not wearing a face mask said.

“For the past two months, I have not heard of any case of COVID in Nigeria or abroad. The masking has been very painful and the earlier the better we relax the rule that compulsorily asks honourable members to wear the mask. If you look around you can see how many people are wearing the mask.

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“It affects our respiratory system and our lungs. So there is no more COVID-19 in Nigeria, there is no more COVID-19 abroad.”

Responding, Idris Wase, deputy speaker who presided over the plenary, said it is not the national assembly that should determine when to abrogate the COVID protocol.

“I want to advise, as legislators we are supposed to be compliant with rules, the constitution, the acts and we have the NCDC for regulating our affairs and conduct,” he said.

“So it is not for the speaker to rule on their duty that has been assigned to them duly by the act of the national assembly. I want to beg that we should continue to comply with the regulations set for our country and the world.

“We note your concern. As you were speaking, I didn’t see you with the mask. I’m grateful that you have now worn the mask. Your point of order is noted.”

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