Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said he shunned handshakes nearly two months ago as a precaution against contracting the dreaded novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The minister provoked a social media debate on Tuesday when he revealed that the last handshake he had was 49 days ago.
Recall that Fashola was Governor of Lagos State in 2014 when the nation defeated the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and received nationwide commendation for his proactiveness in combating the disease.
Taking to his verified Twitter handle, he added that social distancing had become the norm as the global COVID-19 pandemic has changed human relations.
“49 days without a handshake. Social Distancing, the new normal. #When was your last handshake?” he wrote to his 769,000 followers.
Many of the minister’s followers also admitted shunning handshakes to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Bolaji Pearse wrote, “Definitely over a month ago”.
BK Olagbegi said he could not remember the last time he had a handshake as he had been giving fist and shoulder bumps instead.
Adisa Samad disclosed that he had his last handshake on March 19.
Hamza Musa Aliu wrote, “It’s great to hear you again your Excellency. The pandemic should be taken seriously as exemplified by you. Social distancing and staying home if necessary should be the best.”
But some followers said they were indifferent to handshakes and social distancing in spite of directives from health authorities, including the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Taiwo Fadipe wrote, “Honorable minister Fashola. Handshake is not the problem of Nigerians. Your government should provide affordable housing and Infrastructure. We can talk of handshake later.”
Engr. Shadrach Olayemi, MNSE wrote, “Today!!!”