Gov. Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger has urged the Muslim Ummah to pray for peace, unity and security for meaningful development in the country.

The Niger State governor, Abubakar Bello, has gone on self-isolation as a result of his attendance of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum’s meeting on March 18.

The meeting was attended by many governors, including Bauchi State’s Bala Mohammed who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Governor Bello also directed all his close aides and cabinet members to subject themselves to self-isolation.

A statement on Wednesday by the spokesperson of the governor, Mary Berje, said the governor decided to embark on self-isolation because as a public figure, he must have had contact with some confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Mrs Berje said the governor is awaiting tests that would be run to know his status.

“Considering the fact that I was in Abuja the whole of last week to participate in the APC National meeting with the President, the Nigeria Governors Forum meeting, National Economic Council meeting and the World Bank breakfast meeting, as a way of leading by example, I have placed my self on isolation and waiting to be tested, along with members of my family”, the statement reads.

Speaking about the lockdown of the state, the governor asked the general public not to panic as the measure put in place by the government is for containment of the pandemic.

He said the lockdown is not meant to punish but to help and protect the welfare and lives of the citizens.

Currently, Nigeria has 46 cases of COVID-19 including one death.

The Chief of Staff to the president, Abba Kyari, and Mr Mohammed are among the confirmed cases.

Some states, such as Lagos and Ogun, have placed restrictions on public gatherings including in churches and mosques. Lagos, Nigeria’s most affected state with COVID-19, has also said it would shut markets from Thursday except for essential products.

The federal government has, however, only advised Nigerians to stay at home but has told citizens to expect tougher measures.

The COVID-19 has killed over 15,000 people globally, the majority of them in Europe and China.

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