The House of Representatives has described as “fake news” and “gross misinformation”, the reports that over 50 lawmakers tested positive for coronavirus.
There were publications on Tuesday that over 50 lawmakers allegedly tested positive for COVID-19.
But the Spokesman for the House of Representatives, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, in a statement Wednesday morning, said there was no time about 50 members of the National Assembly tested positive for COVID-19, urging the public to disregard the news.
“Members of the National Assembly could fall prey to COVID-19, just like any other person. It is, therefore, unconscionable to attempt to weaponize this against the institution especially when the source of such strange information is a phantom”, Hon. Kalu said.
He stressed that it was necessary to prevent undue panic in the society “because the above-mentioned publication could not be further from the truth.
“We wish to state that there has not been any panic at the National Assembly as alleged in the publication and that to the best of our knowledge, it is absolutely untrue that 50 lawmakers tested positive to COVID-19.
“The House is certain that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Federal Ministry of Health and the Presidential Task Force remain the most credible sources of data with regards to this pandemic and should be referred to for fact verification before misinforming the public”.
The Spokesman stated that “the scourge of Covid-19 has impacted all countries of the world, including every state, community and individual without exception. However, it is but a sickness and not a criminal sentence on infected people.
“Therefore, it should not be an offence to be sick or a crime to be infected, and people who have passed through infection or recovery should not be stigmatized for nobody knows whose turn it will be tomorrow.
“The National Assembly and our leadership have been at the fore of the battle to reduce the impact of this pandemic on the people of Nigeria. At the battlefront, occasional casualties are inevitable, especially when the warriors are not superhuman”.
While cautioning journalists to always crosscheck their facts before going to the press, Rep. Kalu reiterated that, though “the House of Representatives still works 5 days a week at the committee level, it has been sitting only once a week since the pandemic broke”.
He clarified that Tuesday’s adjournment until next week was consistent with its COVID-19 safety precaution and has nothing to do with the reported panic within the National Assembly complex.