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Again Presidency Mocks Soyinka On Covid-19 Lockdown

Garba Shehu

…Says Nigerians should listen to scientists not fiction writers

The Presidency has urged Nigerians to listen and trust information from scientists on issues concerning Covid-19 and shun Professors of Literary writings.

Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said this while reacting to comments made by Professor Wole Soyinka, on the 14-day lockdown announced by President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday.

Soyinka, Ebun Adegboruwa was among the critics who declared that it was unconstitutional for Buhari to have ordered lockdown of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States, remember that the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo has also reacted to Soyinka’s criticism on the Lockdown.

Garba declared that Soyinka is not a medical professor; that his qualifications are in English literature, his prizes are for writing books and plays for theatres.

“He is, of course, entitled to his opinions – but that is exactly all they are: semantics, not science. They cannot – and should not – therefore be judged as professional expertise in this matter in any shape or form,” Shehu wrote.

“Across the world – from parts of the United States and China, to countries including the United Kingdom and France, government – mandated lockdowns are in place to slow and defeat the spread of coronavirus.

“All have been declared, and all have been made necessary, based on medical and scientific evidence. The guidance of the Nigerian Government’s medical specialists is to advise the same.

“Professor Soyinka has also declared, doubtless based on his specialism as a playwright, that: “We are not in a war emergency.”

He pointed out that Dr Richard Hatchett, Head of the International Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations said, ‘War is an appropriate analogy’.

The aide added that Professor Anthony Fauci, Director of the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the battle against the pandemic is ‘almost like the fog of war’.

He noted that as for the legality of the lock down, the federal government primary duty in law and action is the defence of the people of Nigeria.

“The scientific and medical guidance the world over is clear: the way to defeat the virus is to halt its spread through limitation of movement of people.

Shehu advised Soyinka to write a play on the coronavirus pandemic after the crisis instead of attacking government measures.

“In the meantime, we ask the people of Nigeria to trust the words of our doctors and scientists – and not fiction writers – at this time of national crisis,” Shehu added.

Buhari and Soyinka

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