Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has taken delivery of the Madagascar solution prepared for treatment of the COVID-19 patients.
Receiving a sample of the solution from the President of Guinea Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, Buhari vowed he would not allow the solution or any other drug be administered on Nigerians without scientific instructions.
It would be recalled that the President of Madagascar, Andry Ranoelina, had dispatched consignments of the potential cure for COVID-19 to all African countries, some of which were sent to Guinea Bissau for West African countries.
There had been concerns about the potency and appropriateness of the drug by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the last few days while interests within Nigerians had been questioning why the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 would be promoting interest in a foreign solution at the expense of developing any of the ones local scientists and researchers had put forward.
However, while receiving the samples of the Madagascar solution from the President of Guinea Bissau on Saturday, President Buhari said his position on all non-conventional medicines, including the one from Madagascar had been that they must all go through standard validation procedures.
The President, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the Madagascar solution would have to go through validation process.
“We have our institutions, systems and processes in the country. Any such formulations should be sent to them for verification. I will not put it to use without the endorsement of our institutions,” Buhari was quoted to have said.
On the main reason for his visit, President Embalo said having stabilized his country after the tussles that attended the general elections won by him, he had come to seek counsel from his “father,” President Buhari on his plan for a “government of national unity” and a proposed war against corruption in his country.
He also said that his new government met a country beset with a number of issues and problems, the resolution of which would require tremendous assistance from the “big brother,” Nigeria.
“Problems of Guinea Bissau are problems of Nigeria. I have come to you as your son. I need your help and assistance to make the people happy. I will not let you down, neither will I put you in any difficult situation,” the visiting leader told President Buhari.
In response to these demands, the Nigerian leader commended “General“ Embalo on his confirmation as President and for stabilizing the country. “I commend your political dexterity in getting the opposition to join the proposed unity government,” he said.
Buhari restated the determination of Nigeria to keep West Africa politically stable and promised to support the new government in Guinea Bissau. “I will cooperate and help in every way possible,” assured the Nigerian President.
Buhari also used the opportunity of the visit to praise the good work that the President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou, who is the current Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is doing in the sub-region, and commended him for keeping him informed of all that is happening around.