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COVID-19: Senators reportedly worried about statuses of 35 colleagues

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The fear os the COVID-19 pandemic filtered into the top political echelon on Monday, March 23; as the fate of about 35 senators who have not complied with the measures to determine their statuses remain unresolved.
According to reports, the lawmakers last week returned from a trip to the United Kingdom (UK); where they attended a Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) seminar in London. It was during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK with the senator trapped in the European nation.

However, the mandate of the Federal Government directing those returning from any of the COVID-19 high-risk countries to self-isolate for two weeks went allegedly unheeded by the senators.

It was gathered that other senators are pressuring Senate President Ahmad Lawan to prevail on their colleagues to excuse themselves from the chamber’s business.

Some of them (senators) were also said to be pushing for COVID-19 test for their colleagues.

The senators are members of the Senate Committees on Upstream, Downstream and Gas.

Two female senators are among those on the trip.

It was learnt that since the senators returned on March 14; they had been coming to the chamber to participate in legislative activities.

An anonymous source said: “When the senators returned to the country; the President of the Senate tactically told them to go into self-isolation for 14 days. But most of them ignored his advice.

“In fact, the senate president refused to either hug or shake hands with them to the consternation of the affected senators.

“Now, we have a big challenge in the Senate. Some of us are pushing that these Senators should rescue themselves from all the activities in the chamber.”

Although a senator confirmed some of his colleagues had just returned from the UK; he was quick to add: “Some of them have actually gone for the test to confirm their status.
“When we meet on Tuesday; we will be able to ascertain their real status and the next steps the chamber should take to protect the hallowed chamber.”

There were also indications that the executive was worried about non-compliance of the Senators; with the guidelines on the management of COVID-19.

A source in the government said: “There are no records that some of them went into self-isolation or test.

“I think the government has sent the necessary advisory to the leadership of the National Assembly on the need for the senators to respect the rules and regulations on COVID-19.”

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