President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday appeared without face mask in his Daura hometown, violating Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021 he signed on Thursday.
The president was seen flouting the order in the midst of some governors during the validation his membership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at Sarkin Yara Ward in Daura, Katsina State.
Although the president appeared wearing mask in some photos shared by the presidency officials, he appeared without mask in other photos obtained by this newspaper.
DAILY NIGERIAN also observed that social distancing protocol was not observed during the exercise as the president was closely surrounded by aides and dignitaries.
Recall that on January 28, Mr Buhari signed Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021 as part of efforts to boost the COVID-19 response in the country and safeguard the health of the nation.
Mr Buhari said the regulations, which took immediate effect, were given urgent consideration to ensure the well-being of Nigerians, especially in the face of rising COVID-19 cases in the country.
The guidelines state that any person that contravened provisions of the regulations commits, upon conviction, risked a fine or a term of six months imprisonment or both in accordance with Section 5 of the Quarantine Act.
The President directed the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, and other relevant local government, state and Federal governments’ agencies to enforce the regulations, warning that any officer that failed, neglected, or refused to enforce the provisions of the regulations would be subjected to disciplinary actions.
“Any person who, without reasonable cause, contravenes a direction given under Parts 1 and 2 of these regulations commits an offence. Any person who, without reasonable cause, obstructs an authorised official from enforcement of these regulations commits an offence,” the document states.
According the regulations, persons confirmed positive for COVID-19 by an NCDC accredited laboratory, may not refuse isolation and or admission to a designated health establishment for management of the disease.
The regulations also state that physical distance of no less two metres shall be maintained at all gatherings between persons and no gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the space.
It also stipulates that all persons in public gatherings, whether in enclosed or open spaces, shall adhere to the provisions of the regulations, which may be varied by guidelines and protocols as may be issued, from time to time, by the Presidential Task Force, PTF on COVID-19 on the recommendation of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC.