President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said he has lost a couple of close people to the ravaging coronavirus [COVID-19] pandemic.

The president lost his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari to complications from the virus in April. Other close family members back in his hometown Daura, Katsina State also died from the virus.

The president also condoled with Nigerians who have lost close relatives and friends to the virus. He also praised front line health workers who are risking everything including their lives to fight the pandemic.

He said this in a televised Democracy Day address to Nigerians.

He said, “It is a day to honour our founding fathers who toiled to establish our republic and every Nigerian who has worked tirelessly to sustain it.

“We are celebrating this year’s Democracy Day despite the COVID-19 pandemic which afflicts our nation and the whole world.

“It is indeed a very difficult time for everyone especially those who have lost loved ones to the virus and those whose sources of livelihood have been severely constrained by the stringent measures we introduced at every level of government to contain the virus and save lives.

“The dedication of our health and other essential services staff towards containing this virus is a testament of our courage and resilience as a people and as a great nation, and I use this opportunity to say thank you to all of you for your service to the nation.