Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Ogun State government has vowed to ensure strict enforcement of the 8p.m to 6a.m daily curfew as announced by the Federal Government with the force of law.
It also said it has extended the period of lockdown in the state till Sunday, May 9.
The state governor, Dapo Abiodun, made these known while addressing newsmen on Friday night in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, on the COVID-19 situation in the state.
He noted that the extension was in consideration of the one week of grace given to the State by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Governor stated that the usual relaxation window given to the people to conduct business activities and restock food items would come up Monday May 4, Wednesday May 6 and Friday May 8 respectively, beginning from 7 o’clock in the morning till 5 in the evening.
“The extension of the lockdown will end on Sunday May 9, taking into consideration the initial one week grace by the President. The relaxation window will be on Monday May 4, Wednesday May 6 and Friday May 8.
“This will give our people time to conduct necessary economic activities and get to their homes before the commencement of the daily curfew. For the avoidance of doubt, the curfew is from 8p.m to 6a.m and will be strictly enforced”, the governor explained.
Giving the COVID-19 situation in the state, Abiodun said the number of confirmed cases had doubled as 56 cases were reported on April 30 as against 35 last week, adding that eight cases have been discharged, while 47 active cases are receiving treatment from state medical personnel.
According to the governor, the increase in the number was as a result of increased testing capacity and fast turnaround, pointing out that “most of the new cases are as a result of influx of immigrants from the land borders and those from other states”.
He disclosed further that COVID-19 Enforcement Committee has been set up in various markets across the state to enforce social distancing, use of face mask and provision of hand washing facilities and sanitizers at strategic places in the market, adding “traders are expected to wear hand gloves while carrying out their businesses”.
“A Joint Task Force of transporters and security agencies has been inaugurated to ensure that drivers and passengers wear face masks and enforce strict compliance on the inter-state travel. There will be no inter-state travel for persons living in Ogun state and working in any other state, including Lagos”, he clarified.
While warning that government would not tolerate any act of sabotage on inter-state travel by those on essential services, Abiodun said “vehicles on essential services should have five passengers including the driver, who must show proof of their connection with the vehicle and service the vehicle provides”.
He, however, noted that mobile courts would be established to prosecute violators of measures associated with the lockdown and would be made to pay fines, perform community service, or both, just as all public and religious, pubs, clubs, stadia, gyms, salons and any gathering of more than 15 people would remain ban till further notice.
“Transporters are permitted to carry a maximum of half their capacity. Taxis are to carry three passengers with the driver, 14 seater buses are to carry seven passengers, tricycles two passengers, and Okada one passenger each, with the rider. The drivers should wear face masks and encourage their passengers to do same, failure will lead to the confiscation of the vehicle or motorcycle”, the governor warned.
While imploring the people to imbibe the habit of personal hygiene and social distancing, the governor called on the law enforcement officers, traditional rulers, and community leaders to be vigilant and report strange faces to the police, saying that this would assist in curbing the pandemic in the state.