Atiku, who was the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last election said Nigeria should fight the disease the same way it was able to tackle the outbreak of Ebola in 2014.

He said in a statement yesterday that since Buhari had been able to shut land borders to protect the economy, it would not be too difficult to stop flights from countries facing the coronavirus scourge.

Atiku said: “Nigeria needs firm and decisive actions to prevent an escalation of the scourge. Recently, we closed our borders as an act against economic sabotage. Perhaps now is the time to temporarily halt flights to and from any nation with a prevalence of this scourge. It is more important to secure human lives than to secure an economy. We also need to invest in early detection facilities at our airports.

“But above all, Nigeria must not panic, whether at government or individual levels. We have defeated Ebola before, and we can defeat this present predicament.”

The PDP chieftain said this was not the time to cast aspersions on anyone or begin to trade blame. He said the focus should be on finding solutions.

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Atiku added: “We must call upon our experience with the Wild Ebola Virus, of which we were the first nation in the world to defeat that scourge in 2014. How did Nigeria do it? We achieved it by showing unprecedented unity.

“The Federal Government of the day worked closely with the Lagos and Rivers State governments. There was complete unity, solidarity, and oneness of purpose, which created the atmosphere that defeated that deadly infestation.

“I strongly counsel that any tendency to blame and point fighters must be temporary, if not permanently, suspended. If fingers must be pointed, it must be to solutions.”

He said the crisis was an opportunity to show that we are first and foremost Nigerians and that we have no other country but our dear fatherland, which we must work together to keep healthy and secure.