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India’s “namaste” salutation goes viral in Aso Rock

By Terhrmba Daka, Abuja 
22 March 2020   |   3:06 am
The prevailing coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the globe has forced social distancing amongst staffers and regular visitors to the seat of power, the Presidential Villa, Abuja

The prevailing coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the globe has forced social distancing amongst staffers and regular visitors to the seat of power, the Presidential Villa, Abuja. This is ostensible to stave off the looming tragedy, which has humbled human intelligence.

No report has been more disturbing in recent times than COVID-19 scourge, which has forcefully brought down the pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS).

Notwithstanding measures like the application of alcoholic cleanser (hand sanitizers), which has proved useful at every strategic entry point in the State House, staff members now resort to keeping a safe distance, rather than the hitherto warm handshake, and sometimes, generous hugs, to the now awkward ‘elbow shake’ as a way of exchange of pleasantries.

The situation got to a ridiculous state last week, as staff members and even the press corp, took a dive when they sighted a guest from an Asian country, as he emerged from the President’s office.

Some mimicked the salutation, “namaste” “namaste”, as the Asian passed by.

“Namaste” a combination of two Sanskrit words, translates into “bowing to you” and does not involve skin contact and allows people to maintain a distance.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu advocated the Indian-style greeting to his countrymen and went on to demonstrate it by folding his hands at a press conference.

Keeping The Cordon Around The President
Not wanting to be caught napping this time, operatives attached to the President have further tightened access to the Number One citizen, making it near impenetrable.

Those who attended last Thursday’s unveiling of the National Broadband Plan 2020–2025, commissioning of the Communications and Digital Economy complex, flag-off of the Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training and launching of the Abuja Emergency Communication Centre and the National Emergency Toll-Free Number 112, where President Buhari was guest, would attest to the unpalatable experience they got when they attempted to go too close to Mr. President.

Even State House Correspondents accredited to cover the President had a herculean task getting close to the venue with security details keeping everyone away.

This is even more so, following penultimate week’s security breach, which rendered the President vulnerable during his visit to the Argungu Fishing Festival and agriculture show in Kebbi state.

Remember that as the President went around the arena to inspect rice pyramids on display, and take photographs with farmers, a young man got so excited he jumped at the President.

The young man was prevented, and he protested that he should be allowed to greet his President…the Presidency tried to explain.
Who is in-charge?

Months after the Supreme Court nullified his election as Governor of Imo state, Emeka Ihedioha’s picture still featured conspicuously on the video slide show in the Council Chambers, venue of Thursday’s National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The new Governor, Hope Uzodinma, did not attend the meeting along with some of his colleagues, where issues bordering on the nation’s economy form the crux of their deliberations every month. Uzodinma, was, however, ably represented by his deputy, Professor Placid Njoku. One only needs to imagine how the governor would have felt seeing the picture of his rival yet being recognised by the highest office in the land. It reminds one of another review of that infamous Supreme Court judgment…..