Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha has revealed that the Police are investigating purveyors of fake news in the country.
Mustapha disclosed this during the Press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
“On the 17th of March 2020, the PTF on COVID-19 was inaugurated. The mandate was to marshal our national response to the global pandemic.
“Since then a lot of measures have been taken to ensure that a robust multi-sectoral national response was developed and implemented. At the heart of all considerations and action, are the citizens of Nigeria and the President remains deeply concerned about all unintended impact.
“The PTF has continued to present daily situation report to Nigerians and we thank you for your involvement and attention. The objective is to engage with you, eliminate misinformation, rumours, fake news etc,” he said.
“One month down the line, the PTF has worked in close concert with the international community, the private sector and all Nigerians but so much more remain to be accomplished. As we have always told you, this is a war with a vicious enemy and our goal is to ultimately flatten the curve.
“To achieve this ultimate objective therefore, (i.e flatten the curve of infection) the PTF craves the full understanding and cooperation of Nigerians. We therefore continue to appeal to all our citizens to obey the orders to stay at home and respect the advisories on personal hygiene, social distancing, report symptoms to the nearest appropriate medical facility, stay at home and go into isolation for the sake of your loved ones and the society. This appeal can never be over emphasised.
“The PTF has been receiving feedback from the public on the challenges and efforts are being intensified to make the palliatives approved by government reach you with ease. This delivery is being done in close collaboration with the State authorities. Similarly, arrangements to finalise modalities for the expansion of the palliatives are in top gear. I use this opportunity to thank all public spirited persons and corporate bodies that have voluntarily provided food and other palliatives to the poor, the vulnerable, the sick and the aged.
“The PTF continues to work with other sectors of government managing the economic, security and other aspects of the national response. Early this week the Inspector general was here to brief on the readiness of his men. We wish to reassure Nigerians that the entire security apparatus of the nation is awake and alive to protect you. In return, we appeal further that you should please remain law abiding and obey the orders and other guidelines.
“I want to use this opportunity to emphatically warn all purveyors of fake news capable of misleading the public and causing distraction in our collective effort to fight this war. The objective of the restriction orders is to save the lives of Nigerians from the pandemic and not to cause pains. The Police and other services have launched investigations into the various reports and the Presidential Task Force shall update you when it is concluded.
“As you are aware, so many Nigerians are clamoring to return home. While we are finalizing arrangements for their evacuation, isolation and testing, I am pleased to inform you that the PTF has developed the Protocol on Points of Entry that will address this development going forward. Details will be unveiled subsequently.
“Recent data released by the NCDC has shown a rise in the number of cases in Kano. The state Government has in response to the development imposed a lockdown and curfew in the state. The PTF will visit the state to evaluate the state of readiness and to guide the authorities in the management of the situation.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is a long-term effort and we should exercise patience as we gradually walk out of danger, reopen our society and her economic life. This virus has no vaccine. Success will mean a return to normalcy and we can only claim victory when:
✓ Cases are no longer increasing;
✓ We have no unknown sources for cases
✓ Deaths are no longer increasing
✓ More admissions are discharged.
The only path to these is your full collaboration and compliance.”