In the bid to follow the directive of the Federal government in the extension of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) in the fight against world pandemic coronavirus, Ogun state government has decided a total lockdown the state starting from Saturday 18th of April, 2020 instead of the usual 48-hr lift ban.
The state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun in his first response to President Mohammadu Buhari’s broadcast, in a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Kunle Somorin, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the necessary leadership especially, for the federal government’s efforts to combat the deadly coronavirus in the country.
Abiodun enjoined the citizens and residents of Ogun State to endure the 14-day extension of the lockdown in the state and consider it a necessary sacrifice to defeat an invisible and deadly enemy that requires its victims as unwitting vectors of its deadly venom.
“We must deny the virus the vital supply chain required to decimate humanity by complying with all the social distancing measures and maintaining personal hygiene,” the Governor said.
His administration, he continued, remains committed in its twin-responsibility of protecting lives and properties in the State and ensuring the welfare of the citizens. The coronavirus pandemic has created an unusual challenge to strike a delicate balance of the need for public safety and welfare of the citizenry.
Therefore, the current window of relaxation of the lockdown in the state from 7.00 am to 2.00 pm, which follows the same pattern from last week, this will still be available for this Wednesday (15th April) and Friday (17th April, 2020) only. This is to allow the residents to prepare for the extension of the lockdown and restock on food and other essential items. However, Ogun State borders remain closed.
It should be emphasised that people should only go out if they need to and are required at all times when outside their homes to wear a face mask, including locally made face masks, even as they observe other social distancing measures. The state will soon commence strict enforcement of wearing of face mask in the public as it has been shown to help flatten the spread of the virus.
The Governor also announced that the distribution mechanism of the State’s relief materials has been fine-tuned to make it more effective and efficient in the delivery to the target population of the elderly, the poor and vulnerable. The new mechanism, the statement added, has incorporated the learning from the experience of the first phase and reassured the citizens that the materials would get to the deserving households sooner than later.
The statement confirmed that the relief items have so far been distributed to over 60,000 households of the elderly, the poor and vulnerable in the state, covering about 300,000 individuals and the next phase of distribution to additional 80,000 households of estimated 400,000 people across the 236 wards will commence soon.
Governor Abiodun thanked the security agencies for moving swiftly to curtail the nefarious activities around our border communities with Lagos and promptly arresting over 150 suspects.
He assured the residents of the State that no stone will be left unturned in his avowed determination not to make Ogun State a safe haven for crimes and criminals. The law enforcement agents have been directed to deal ruthlessly with anyone taking advantage of the pandemic to engage in any form of criminal activity.
“Our State Task Force on COVID-19, the health team, frontline medical personnel, law enforcement agents and all those involved in the supply and distribution of relief items deserve our profound gratitude for their commitment and resilience in the face of this unprecedented call to duty. When we defeat COVID-19, as we must, history will record you all as heroes and heroines of this trying period in human history. The residents of Ogun State have also demonstrated uncommon perseverance, hope and high spirit in the face of this debilitating virus. Together, we will triumph over this challenge and, together, we will build the future of our state”, Governor Abiodun said.