Coronavirus: Reps To Suspend Plenary For Two Weeks

The House of Representatives on Tuesday agreed to suspend plenary for two weeks to allow the National Assembly to prepare adequately against the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to the Green chamber, the two-week suspension will also give the federal lawmakers the chance to be tested for the deadly virus.

However, the lawmakers did not disclose when the suspension will start and end.

The lower chamber resolved to suspend sitting after Hon Josiah Edem (PDP-om Akwa Ibom) raised a motion on ‘emergency response to tackle coronavirus’.

Speaking on the motion, Minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP – Delta State) lamented that the lawmakers are at risk of contracting the virus as the National Assembly is not ready if a staff or any of the visitors have the disease.

He, however, asked the house to suspend its activities to allow the National Assembly management put in adequate measures to avoid the spread of the virus.

“This house should suspend plenary for two weeks for adequate handling of this matter and to allow management to put measures so that all of us can be tested,” he said.

“This is a very serious matter… otherwise, you don’t know who you are shaking.”

Also speaking on the motion, Hon. Isiaka Ibrahim (APC – Ogun State) urged the federal government to be more pro-active and ensure that the disease does not spread to other parts of the country.

He said: “The facilities are not here presently. “There are only two control centres, one in Lagos and one in Abuja. Nigeria is standing at zero as far as this is concerned.

“This is a wake-up call for all of us. We are not talking about coronavirus. What is the case after coronavirus?”

Hon. Awaji-Inombek Abiante from Rivers state also supported the motion to suspend plenary for two-weeks, adding that there is no measure to check the spread of the virus to the National Assembly Complex.

“We brought down a motion to bring down our brothers and sisters in Wuhan for fear that we don’t have the capacity to handle it. Now, our fears have caught up with us,” he said.

“We saw where ministers were praising themselves that Nigeria was ready for the coronavirus. We should be more pro-active. Here, there is nothing to check any man who is symptomatic.

“We don’t have anything at all. Are we ready for what is coming to us? The answer is no. Let us make contributions that will indeed better the future of this country and that of Nigerians.”

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