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Covid-19: Senate to ban VIPs, others from airports for safety protocol breaches

Ahmed Lawan Senate President

Following a spate of breaches of the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) safety protocols by VIPs in the country, mostly politicians, the Senate has moved to advocate a ban on persons seen to have flouted these guidelines at the airports.

Abeyanews gathered that in less one week, two VIPs, namely, a former governor of Zamfara State, Abdul Aziz Yari, as well as the serving Adamawa State chief executive, Ahmadu Fintiri, were accused by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) of breaching the safety protocols at both the Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano, and the Port Harcourt International Airport in Omagwa, Rivers State, respectively, in separate incidents recorded, this week.

The Senate’s position is contained in a statement made available to Abeyanews, Friday, and titled; “Commendation on the Preventive and Protective Measures Taken to Contain the Spread of the Coronavirus at Airports,” signed by Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi.

While the Upper Legislative Chamber admitted that public office holders and highly placed individuals should be more concerned about the safety of the people, it, however, posited that it comes with the burden of service.

According to it, any Nigerian who deliberately fails to observe all measures as directed, should not be allowed entry into any Nigerian airport for at least four months irrespective of his decision, ‘or they can choose to travel privately by road.’

The senate further threatened that in addition to blacklisting them from all airports in the country, they should also be exposed on social media to serve as a deterrent t others.

“I write to commend you and your ministry on the good works you have done thus far in the preventive and protective measures put in place at the selected airports already opened for operation. I must very quickly say that I am impressed by your proactive approach in the face of the corona virus pandemic. I will be delighted to see the same strategies being implemented at all other airports before they fully commence operations.

“At this juncture Honourable Minister, it has been brought to my attention that some highly placed individuals, who ought to adhere completely to the guidelines put in place by your good office have been found wanting . it has been reported that these individuals have shown unwillingness to comply with set down rules and guidelines for the safety of all Nigerians. This must not be condoned under any circumstance. You would agree with me that the corona virus pandemic is one we must all take seriously particularly at this time. Set down guidelines proffered by the NCDC must be adhere to very strictly, the statement read s in part.

“The virus is no respecter of status or position. In the face of health issues, everyone is equal and no individual should be allowed to jeopardize the health and safety of others. In truth, public office holders, and highly placed individuals should be more concerned about the safety of the people. With position comes the burden of service.

“I therefore urged that ANY Nigerian who deliberately failed to all measures as directed should not be allowed entry into the any Nigerian airport. For at least four months irrespective of his decision may be to travel privately by road.

“Furthermore, such individuals should be blacklisted at all airports and exposed on social media. This will serve as a deterrent to others. Honourable Minister, the covid-19 is indeed a global pandemic and should not be taken for granted. The implementation of preventive measures should be fully enforced regardless of social status,” the statement said.

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