Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri made an unscheduled visit Friday to the state’s border points with Delta and Rivers States in demonstration of his seriousness to enforce the two-week interstate lockdown agreed n by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.
Governor Diri, who first visited Adagbabiri, the boundary community with Patani in Delta State, virtually took the security personnel at the entry point unawares as he arrived unannounced in an unmarked Hilux vehicle.
He immediately went into checking of vehicles coming into Bayelsa and anyone without the approved permit to be on the road was asked to turn back and prevented from entering the state.
The governor’s acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as saying that he would embark on such surprise visits regularly to border points to underscore the seriousness of his administration to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
“We cannot sleep or rest while we have an enemy we cannot see. COVID-19 is an enemy that we must fight till it is completely defeated,” the governor said.
Governor Diri directed the Divisional Police Officer at Kaiama, Mr E Elisha, to ensure strict compliance with the lockdown directive on border entry points in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
At the Igbogene boundary point with Rivers, the governor met a large number of persons that the security personnel had prevented from entering the state.
Addressing them, Governor Diri noted that the preventive measures so far taken by the state government were in the common interest of all.
“We are doing this for your health. We have said nobody comes into Bayelsa and nobody leaves too. We have locked our boundaries with Delta and Rivers States. So, please for your health, stay where you are for now.
“We pray nobody contracts COVID-19 or dies from it. We want you to be safe where you are. We also know it is difficult for everyone at this time. But, please, go back and stay where you are.
“When the issue of COVID-19 relaxes, we would open our border for everybody to come in. For now, we can only allow in those whose movement is essential. But they too must have a permit to be allowed in,” the governor said.