The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Sunday rose to the defence of top presidential aides on self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, stressing that they are humans who can fall sick at any time.
His statement is coming in the wake of report by Premium Times that the State House's permanent secretary, Tijani Umar; President’s Aide-de-camp (ADC), Yusuf Dodo; his chief security officer (CSO), Aliyu Musa and senior special assistant media and publicity, Garba Shehu have tested positive.
The report further quoted Shehu as saying that he was afflicted by the mild variant of the COVID-19, adding that he felt better because he had received all three jabs.
In a swift reaction to the viral report, Adesina who appeared on Channels Television's Sunday Politics begged Nigerians to cut the infected aides some slack.
“Well, what I like to say is that presidential aides are just human. They can fall sick. If anything happens to human beings it can also happen to presidential aides. The fact that we are presidential aides does not make us to be immune to certain things.
‘If there is a virus that is ravaging society. Well, it can touch anybody. So Mallam Garba Shehu has confirmed that, yes, he tested positive but he said it’s mild. And I believe that by now, because it’s happened since Wednesday, by now, he should almost have beaten it if he had not beaten it already. There is no cause for alarm,” he said.
Speaking further, Adesina disclosed that Shehu was holding up well after his interaction with him.
When quizzed on how many aides of the president in the State House have been infected, the special adviser on media objected, saying: “No. That will not be within my purview to discuss maybe if you get the Presidential doctor or anybody in the medical side, they will tell you, I wouldn’t know because, it is a private thing. If it happens to anybody it is between that person and possibly the doctor. It’s not going to be general knowledge. So I may not be able to say.”
He also addressed fear that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) may have been exposed to those infected.
“Well, I think Mr. President is quite fine, he is doing his normal routine, following his normal schedule. But if anybody close to him test positive, that person is required to stay away till he tests again, and he test negative. So, Mr. President, is following his normal schedule and routine,” he said/