By Our Correspondent
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has described as fake news, the claim by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed about what he calls the high rate of COVID-19 positive cases found in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme across the Country.
HURIWA recalled Mohammed as saying on Wednesday that the number of COVID-19 cases recorded atNYSC camps across the country was far more than reported.
It recalled that the NYSC Director of Press and Public Relations, Adenike Adeyemi, had earlier told Nigerians that there were no positive corps members in any of the agency’s 37 orientation camps nationwide, against Mohammed’s claims that if more tests were conducted in orientation camps, “there will be more cases.”
The association hence accused the minister of spreading fake news and cautioned the Federal Government to adhere strictly to competency and merit in permitting public officials to speak on certain specialised areas.
“Speaking as an independent non-governmental organisation with no strings attached, we believe that the National Youth Service Corps Scheme has adopted strong proactive and preventive measures to keep the participants of the National Youth Service Corps Scheme safe from all infections due to the existence of functional clinics and tests kits in all camps as made evidently available by the hierarchy of the scheme.
“Is it possible that the NYSC that has organised series of health related services with abundant number of young doctors and nurses in many communities benefitting hundreds of thousands of rural dwellers could let down their guards and allow COVID-19 pandemic to swerp through their camps? I don’t think so. The Minister of Information should stop spreading fake news please,” it stated.