President Muhammadu Buhari says Boko Haram insurgents may use the COVID-19 outbreak in the country as an opportunity to attack, but that the military will remain vigilant to contain the threat.
The country has so far recorded 288 cases of the disease. While 57 people have been discharged, seven people have died of the disease.
In an Easter message to Nigerians on Friday, Buhari said while the pandemic is a global challenge, his administration is not oblivious of the constant threat posed to the country’s security by these insurgents.
“While we see the COVID-19 pandemic as a global challenge, this administration is not oblivious of the constant threat posed to our national security by terrorists and insurgents,” the president said.
“They may take this opportunity to perpetrate attacks but our armed forces and other security and intelligence services will remain vigilant and continue to contain these threats and consolidate efforts to eradicate them completely.”
Buhari said with intensified prayers backed by personal and collective responsibility, the country would pull through the current difficult period.
“I have no doubt that if all stakeholders – individuals and groups – play their part to the fullest as advised by our scientists and medical experts in confronting Covid-19, the inherent resilience and determination of our people will enable us to pull through,” he said.
“As I stated in my national broadcast on Sunday, March 29, 2020, since there is currently no known vaccine against the virus, ‘the best and most efficient way to avoid getting infected is through regular hygiene and sanitary practices as well as social distancing.’
“May I use this opportunity to commend the encouraging containment and ameliorating strategies put in place by members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
“I am very much aware of the personal and collective inconveniences suffered by our people due to measures such as restriction of movements and closure of business premises. Being ‘a matter of life and death,’ these sacrifices are in everybody’s interest to save our country from calamity.”
The president said efforts would be made to supply the most vulnerable in the country “with basic means of survival”.
“I wish to enjoin our Christian compatriots to rekindle their faith in Christ who overcame persecution, sufferings and displayed endurance, steadfastness and above all piety,” he said.
“Jesus Christ represented man’s ability to withstand temporary pains in the hope of everlasting glory. I urge you to imbibe and live the values of humility, discipline, perseverance, sacrifice and obedience which Jesus Christ demonstrated during His stay on earth.”