Garba Shehu, spokesman of President Muhammadu Buhari, says the nation’s number one citizen will address Nigerians on the coronavirus outbreak if there is the need to do so.
Speaking during a Channels TV programme on Friday, Shehu said the president is not “out for showmanship” over the situation.
He was speaking in reaction to criticisms Buhari has received for not addressing Nigerians since the country recorded the first case of the infection in February.
Asked by the anchor if the president will at some point address the nation on the pandemic which has grounded schools and many activities, Shehu responded: “Yes of course, if the situation is warranted.”
“At the right trajectory, when the president finds it appropriate to address the nation, he will,” he said.
The presidential spokesman said Nigerians should be concerned about steps being taken to address the situation, and not whether the president speaks on it or not.
“Is it action … or are they yearning for drama and showmanship? Are they yearning for photo ops?” he asked.
“This president, President Muhammadu Buhari, is not cut out for showmanship, and not for drama.
“He has competent people doing enormous good job, commended by the World Bank and put forward as a template for other nations to copy. We are satisfied with what is going on.”
He added that the president has been speaking “through some of us who are spokespersons; he has been speaking through the coordinating committee.”
“In fact, if only Nigerians are willing, only 24 hours ago, he was at the commissioning of a major project (in Abuja) and he did devote a substantial part of that speech on what the government is doing on the impact on both the economy and health of Nigerians,” he said.
“The president does not seek opportunistic opportunity. So, please, let’s just get serious. Allow people doing serious job of protecting Nigerians to do so and leave drama out of this.
“I would rather have my president buying equipment and bringing them into the country so that we are ready, than a talking head who is just looking for cheap publicity and their face being on the television.”
Shehu had also tackled senators for asking Buhari to address Nigerians on the situation.
So far, Nigeria has recorded 12 cases of the infection.
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