The presidency has denied rumours that Sarki Abba, an aide of President Muhammadu Buhari, tested positive for COVID-19.
Abba, Buhari’s senior special assistant on social affairs and domestic matters, is a close aide of the president who has worked with him for decades.
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In a statement on Wednesday, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said information in the public space that Abba contracted COVID-19 is false.
Shehu said all staff working for and around Buhari are routinely and rigorously checked for the virus in order to ensure the safety of the president.
He said Abba has always tested negative for the virus.
The presidential spokesman urged the public to avoid being misled by rumours which stir anxiety.
“The Presidency wishes to advise Nigerians to ignore determined agents of fake news bent on spreading false stories to the public,” the statement read.
“We react to the utter falsehood and disgraceful lies, a report by so-called digital newspaper which, Wednesday, claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide, Sarki Abba, is COVID-19 positive.
“This report is sheer fabrication and brazen effort by the online news medium to mislead the public.
“Upon the directive of doctors and scientists and supervision of Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff, all staff working for and around the President, are routinely and rigorously checked for the virus.
“The Senior Special Assistant, Social Affairs and Domestic Matters, Sarki Abba, always tested negative.
“The general public is hereby advised to ignore such stories that are intended to mislead the people and create unnecessary anxiety about the safety of the President.”
Also, a source close to the Aso Villa, who does not want his name mention, noted that Abba had been hale and hearty, adding that he had been going about his normal duties.
“It is politics taken too far to say that a healthy man is sick or to wish him ill,” the source added.
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