Nigerians on social media and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have expressed dismay over President Muhammadu Buhari’s reported violation of the executive order regulating COVID-19.
The law, which was recently signed by the president, prescribes a six-month jail term for defaulters.
In some of the pictures that surfaced online, Buhari was seen discussing with some All Progressives Congress’ leaders at the revalidation of his APC membership in Daura on Saturday without putting on a nose mask or maintaining social distancing as stipulated by the new law.
He, however, wore the mask while signing his form.
Some of the Nigerians who reacted wondered why the president used the mask when he wanted to take pictures and later removed it.
Obong Ekpe said, “Laws of that nature are only made for the poor and less powerful people in the society especially in Nigeria. Police can’t arrest him but (they) will arrest me and you for committing exactly the same crime.”
@switcandyyy said, “When the number one man in Nigeria doesn’t adhere to simple laid down laws, the laws that were also made by him, what you expect from ordinary citizens? Commander-in-chief of breaking of law and order.”
“They use the masks for professional photography alone and they take them off after,” @adeyemoffn added.
@Emmanuelitunu said he would save the picture “in case I am arrested for not wearing a face mask in public. Baba Buhari’s action is a case study.”
@UdoetukN clarified that “there is no provision in the executive order for face mask removal while talking in public. Buhari has violated the law.”
@SsonofMan wants Buhari to be punished for violating the COVID-19 law, saying, “Buhari passed a law with a punishable offence of serving up to six months for failure to wear nose mask. Not wearing it here because others are wearing theirs doesn’t stop the fact that he broke his own law. He should be criticised.”
PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, titled, ‘PDP Expresses Dismay By Buhari’s Violation of COVID-19 Law…Charges Nigerians Not to Follow Such Examples’,.
The party described the president’s action as “a huge national embarrassment and gross failure of leadership”.
It noted that Buhari, who ought to lead by example, is seen publicly violating the COVID-19 regulation, which he signed just five days ago.
Part of the statement read, “It is indeed scandalous that while Nigerians are striving to obey the COVID-19 regulation, which stipulates the compulsory wearing of a nose mask and physical distancing in the public, they are being confronted with reports of open violation of the law by Mr. President at the All Progressives Congress’ membership revalidation exercise in his hometown, Daura, Katsina state on Saturday.
“We ask, with this violation, do the Buhari administration and its officials still have the rectitude to enforce sanctions on any other defaulter in the absence of necessary regrets by President Buhari and his party, the APC?
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“In this regard, the onus lies on President Buhari and the APC to clean up the mess by tendering an unreserved apology to Nigerians and take steps to observe necessary regrets over this violation.”
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