COVID-19: Spokesperson House of Reps, Kalu says no lawmaker shunned screening at airports

Nigerian House of Representatives

By Saminu Ibrahim

The Spokesperson of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Honourable Benjamin Kalu has debunked insinuation that lawmakers did not subject themselves to screening of the COVID-19 on arrival from overseas trip at the airport.

It would be recalled that the media was awashed with reports that some lawmakers, particularly, members of the House of Representatives who arrived from official function to overseas did not subject themselves to the mandatory screening of the Coronavirus pandemic.

But Speaking with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, the spokesperson of the House  said the arrangement and infrastructure at the airport would not allow anybody to escape screening on arrival, no matter his status in the society.

Kalu, who represent Bende federal constituency of Abia state also urged Nigerians to disregard a purported letter addressed to the Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila that lawmakers who allegedly did not avail themselves to screening should go for a test, saying the authenticity of the said letter is doubtful.

Specifically, he observed that the Coronavirus scanners at the airport are positioned in such a way that “you must pass it before you meet the immigration officers”.

Hon. Benjamin Kalu

The lawmaker challenged those who are accusing some members of the House of Representatives to have bypassed screening to provide pictorial evidence, arguing that CCTV are at the airport to expose anybody who did not subject himself to screening.

“I personally went through the screening myself and so I believe other lawmakers did too”.

He said “for speculations going the round that some lawmakers by passed the scanner at the airport, it can’t be true because the way the scanner is position, you must pass it first before you meet the immigration officers, so there is no how one can bypass it. 

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“But if anyone can prove that it actually happened they should come with evidence at least the CCTV is there for pictures of those who bypassed to be exposed. I personally went through the screening myself and so I believe others did too.”

Continuing he said “Attaching importance to that purported letter regarding where it’s coming from, I think it’s something we don’t have to do. You were all at the gallery today (Tuesday), if the letter was actually coming from the said source the speaker would have announced that we have a correspondence from the presidency and would read it on the floor.

“Whether it was coming from the Chief of Staff to president Buhari or it was addressed to the speaker of the House of Representatives or to the Senate, it is irrelevant that is why I am pleading with honourable members not to see it as an attempt to cast aspersion on the integrity of members of the House of Representatives” Kalu added.

Kalu, however counseled all strata of the Nigerian society to be humble enough to follow measures put in place to end this Coronavirus crisis.

“I encourage Nigerians, parliamentarians or not, governors or not, commissioners, ordinary man on the street, market women or whatever you call yourself, if there are measure put in place within this period that we are facing this crisis, I plead with you to be humble enough to make use of them, if not for your sake for the sake of your neighbour, your brother, parent or children” Kalu added.

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