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‘Don’t open schools, viewing centres, stadiums’ FG warns states.

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      The Federal Government on Monday warned state governments that were planning to reopen schools to drop the plan.

      The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and  Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, gave the warning during the PTF press briefing in Abuja. Mustapha said it was not yet safe to reopen schools, television viewing centres,  stadiums and other places where large gatherings could take place. Last week, Kano State reopened football viewing centres. There were reports on Monday that Cross River State, which had yet to record any COVID-19 case, was planning to reopen schools.

       On Monday, Mustapha ​ appealed  to state governments to embark on wider community testing and enforce rules on social distancing. He stated, “​We have received reports that some states are contemplating the reopening of schools, television viewing centres, sports stadiums and other places where large gatherings could take place. The PTF re-emphasises that it is not yet safe to do so and that utmost caution should be exercised. The PTF guidelines should still be complied with while considering decision of this nature.​” Mustapha added that the PTF, through its monitoring, had observed that Nigerians were not observing  social distancing, wearing of masks in public places, sanitation and hygiene in markets, motor parks and places of worship.

      He said, “We wish to re-emphasise that all relaxed measures are still subject to review and advisories issued are for personal and public safety purposes.  The breach of the ban on inter-state travels is also a point of concern.”

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Lai Mohammed calls for regulation of social media.

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The minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, October 27 said that the nation is sitting on a keg of gun powder regarding the issue of fake news, hence the need for the federal government to immediately begin to regulate the social media space.

The minister stated this while responding to questions from federal lawmakers when he appeared before the House of Representatives committee on information, national orientation, ethics and values.Alhaji Lai Mohammed has continued his advocacy for social media regulation. Alhaji Mohammed made reference to the recent #ENDSARS protest, saying that it was fought on social media.

His words:

“They mobilised using social media. The war today revolves around two things. Smart phones and data and these young men don’t even watch television or listen to the radio or read newspapers. “We are sitting on a time bomb on this issue of fake news. Unfortunately, we have no national policy on social media and we need one. The minister’s latest comments is expected to spark reactions across the country as young Nigerians have been warning against government’s alleged plans to gag them on social media.

The authorities have promised that they don’t intend to completely shut down social media in the country, but the distrust between government and the led in Nigeria has been that of mutual suspicion.

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