Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, on Sunday, came under intense criticism on social media for advising the Nigerian media to focus on the deaths caused by malaria rather than on coronavirus.
Shehu, who took to his Twitter and Facebook accounts, asked why all the newspapers used coronavirus headlines as their cover page stories.
“This morning’s newspapers, all of them have coronavirus as the lead, cover story. When will they bring the spotlight to bear on 822 who are killed by malaria every day in Nigeria?,” Garba Shehu wrote.
However, Shehu’s comment had attracted over 1,000 comments, mostly negative comments, from his followers.
Bring Back Our Girls co-convener, Aisha Yesufu said newspapers will bring the spotlight on malaria when President Buhari prioritises Nigeria’s health sector like his healthcare in the United Kingdom.
“When the incompetent, clueless, corrupt, inept and failure #ICCIF Major General Buhari @MBuhari that you work for decides to prioritise health sector the way he prioritises his healthcare in the United Kingdom,” she replied.
An aide to former Senate President Bukola Saraki asked Shehu to stop creating the wrong narrative.
Tweeting with his handle, @MrBanksOmishore, he said, “Please stop this attitude of us (presidency) versus everyone. Stop looking for imaginary enemies. If you are not attacking those you call opposition or wailers, you are attacking media houses. For once, preach unity to face #coronavirusnigeria then go back to your politicking once defeated.”
@IbangaImmanuel tweeted, “I love this…..Papers are tired of reporting your principal’s failure as lead story. What pains most is the numerous fools liking his self indicting comment. What’s more important is it reporting malaria scourge or ending it? Who’s responsible to end malaria scourge? Media or government?”
@jumupwell tweeted, “Just to add, sir, that Cuba, Sri Lanka, Paraguay, Armenia, Morocco, Turkmenistan, UAE have been declared malaria-free. When will Nigeria mark five years without a single case of malaria? Help us ask Buhari. Thanks.”
@ringi_Kassem tweeted: “He’s trying to create a narrative where there is none.”
@wemimospot tweeted: “It gladdens me that you acknowledge that so many Nigerians die of malaria daily.”