Minister of State for Education and member of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Emeka Nwajiuba, has said he never described the COVID 19 pandemic as “a sham”.
Reacting to one of the reports published in the Pilot newspaper, Hon. Nwajiuba said it would be out of place for him to describe COVID-19 as a sham when he had been appointed a member of the Presidential Task Force charged with the responsibility of fashioning our national response to the containment of the disease.
He said he only submitted a proposal from his ministry on strategies on how to reopen our schools without endangering the lives of Nigeria’s children, adding that he never made the comment credited to him in the course of his presentation at the National Assembly on June 23.
The Minister further said that no responsible member of the PTF would make such a statement, bearing in mind the enormous responsibilities the President and the nation had bestowed on the group.
Hon. Nwajiuba noted that the COVID-19 pandemic was real and required concerted actions from all and sundry to tackle, adding that his Ministry had been working assiduously with other agencies of government at all levels to see how the pandemic could be contained.
He wondered why anybody would say the disease never existed when over nine million people all over the world had already been infected.
Nwajiuba advised journalists to check their facts before rushing to the press in order not to embarrass individuals who are making sacrifices for the nation and the entire humanity, stating that in Journalism, “facts are sacred and comments are free”.
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Chidi Nwogu described the comment credited to the Minister as “mischievous”.
He implored journalists to be conscious of the responsibility they owe the public in their duties, adding that the report on Nwajiuba was fake and should be disregarded.