Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Ogun state governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Friday, threatened to ban the operation of commercial motorcyclists otherwise known as Okada for flouting the lockdown directives put in place by the state government to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
Abiodun, who made this known while briefing journalists on the update on the activities of the state government to curb the disease, expressed his displeasure over the disregard of the restriction directive by the commercial motorcyclists across the state.
He said the non compliance by the motorcyclists has frustrated the efforts of the state government to flatten the curve of the pandemic, declaring “I will not hesitate, I repeat, I will not hesitate to ban the operations of commercial motorcyclists if they don’t resist from carrying passengers during the lockdown period in the state”.
Abiodun, who noted that the pandemic has failed to subside despite concerted efforts by the governments, both at the federal and state levels, however, announced the suspension of opening of religious centres in the state.
The governor explained that though the state had considered gradual opening of churches and mosques in the state on a tentative date of Friday, June 19, but had to suspend it due to the rise in number of cases of COVID-19, declaring “places of worship represent most potent fertile grounds for the spread of the deadly virus’.
He added that the decision was taken after a careful review of the data, feedback from the field, expert opinions, and lessons from far and near.
“We have had robust engagements with the religious leaders – Christian Association of Nigeria and the League of Imams and Alfas. I must thank them for their forthrightness, cooperation and even appreciation that the curve of the spread of the pandemic is worsening and that places of worship represent most potent fertile grounds for the spread of the deadly virus.
“After a careful review of the data, feedback from the field, expert opinions, and lessons from far and near, two major conclusions are very clear and obvious to all: first, the COVID-19 situation in Ogun State and indeed in the country as a whole has not improved since the last update; secondly, there are dire consequences in loss of human lives for premature relaxation of the guidelines, necessitating a rollback of the relaxation in a number of states and countries. Unfortunately, guidelines may be rolled back, the lost human lives cannot be rolled back.
“Consequently, we are confronted with two choices – yield to the demand of those who want the restrictions to be further relaxed or even completely removed, even if this is at variance with the dictates of incontrovertible data analysis and scientific opinion; or tow the path that preserves public health and safety, even if not so popular. As a responsible Administration, we choose life and the wellbeing of our citizens and are therefore constrained to take the painful but necessary decision to maintain the current regime of eased lockdown in the meantime. We are consequently suspending our initially slated reopening of places of worship”. The governor stated.
Giving the medical statistics and the update on the current COVID-19 situation in Ogun, Abiodun disclosed that state recorded a total of 586 positive cases as at Monday, June 15, as against a total number of 316 on the 4th of June, while 315 patients had been successfully treated and discharged.
He further disclosed that within the period under review, the state equally recorded six deaths, bringing the total deaths to 15.