Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government has warned those compromising its border control measures towards curtailing the spread of the devastating COVID-19 disease in the State to comply or face the wrath of the law.
Deputy GovernorLawrence Ewhrudjakpo handed down the warning at a meeting with members of local government COVID-19 teams led by the eight council chairmen at his office in Government House, Yenagoa, the State capital.
Ewhrudjakpo expressed concern over reports on the influx of people into the State due to the Federal Government’s directives on the gradual easing of lockdown in some states of the federation.
He said the State government had placed more emphasis on preventive measures due to the peculiarities of the State, stressing that the facilities on ground would not be able to manage any massive outbreak of the virus as currently experienced in Lagos and other heavily impacted States.
“I am just coming from another meeting where I had reports that there is now a very high influx of strangers into our State. This is because of the porous borders we have in the State.
“People are now running from places that experienced total lockdown to where they will have freedom of movement. These are people you don’t even know their virus status and our people are encouraging them to come in.
“We don’t have the kind of capacity Lagos have, but still they are finding it difficult to cope with the situation in their hands despite the N10 billion support from the Federal Government.
“That is why I urge every one of us, including security agencies manning our borders, to take the government’s preventive measures seriously. As at today, Lagos has over a thousand cases. But if Bayelsa gets even 500 cases, it will be difficult for us to handle.”
The deputy governor advised those who are planning to travel to Bayelsa on the heels of the Federal Government’s lockdown easing measures to have a rethink as more stringent border control measures are being put in place.
Communities identified as flashpoints of porous borders include Ayamasa, Aleibiri, Isampou, Ekeremor Town, Aghoro, Beautiful Gate and Agge in Ekeremor local government area.
The flashpoints in Yenagoa are Ikarama, Polaku, Yenegwe, Opolo and Agbura, while Igbedi, Odi, Kaiama, Sabagreia, Opokuma and Sampou junctions were listed for Kolokuma/Opokuma area.
Sagbama has Adagbabiri, Elemebiri, Trofani, Ofoni, Angiama, Ebedebiri, Sagbama Town, Agbere, Anibeze and Angalabiri.
Other communities that require effective border policing are Angiama-Igeibiri, Amassoma, Oporoma, Ekeni, Koluama and Swali Market to screen those travelling to Southern Ijaw Local Government.
Okarki and Oruma communities are some of the porous borders in Ogbia Local Government.
Flashpoints in Brass include Fish Town, Ibidi, Odioma, Twon, Sangana, Kongho, Bekekiri, Egweama, Okpoama and Ogbokiri, while Obioku, Oluasiri, Okoroma, Igbetawoama, Ogbolomabiri and Bassambiri were pencilled down for Nembe.