Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State has announced a two-week extension to the ongoing state-wide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
This follows the expiration of the initial 14-day lockdown, which began on Tuesday, March 31st, 2020.
The governor, who made the announcement during a broadcast address to citizens and residents of the State on Tuesday evening, said this was to ensure a total defeat of the deadly Coronavirus in Osun.
He, however, said the lockdown will be suspended between Wednesday, 15th and Thursday 16th, to allow the people re-stock ahead of the continuation of the full lockdown.
“In order to ensure a total defeat of coronavirus in Osun, we shall extend lockdown by another 14 days. But to allow our people to re-stock, the lockdown is suspended between Wednesday, 15th and Thursday, 16th April 2020. The second lockdown shall, therefore, commence on midnight on Thursday, April 16, 2020.
“All markets and land boundaries remain closed during the suspension of the lockdown and the lockdown period. Also, the ban on all public gatherings remains in force,” he said.
The governor who noted the decision to impose the initial lockdown was a painful one, said that its outcomes had proven that the State government took the best decision as no new case of COVID-19 was recorded in the State during the period.
Speaking further, Oyetola said “circumstances of our situation do not support the suspension of lockdown at this period. The application and implications of half measures are dangerous and grave at this critical period.
The Governor who appreciated the citizens for their support and sacrifice in the last 14 days noted the fight against the virus is a collective one which must be sustained to ensure that the State is safe.
He said: “There can be no doubt that we have all sacrificed to get us where we are. We thank you all for your support, patience and sacrifice during these difficult times. The experience of the last few months is not one we would wish to repeat but it is better for us to deal with this deadly enemy once and for all.”
“We are aware of the negative effects of lockdown on our fragile economy. But as a responsible government, we will not sacrifice the lives and security of our people on the altar of economy,” the governor stressed.
Oyetola assured that the State government will continue to provide palliatives to the poor, the needy and vulnerable people in the State to cushion the effects of the sit-at-home order.
The governor had earlier today, ordered immediate payment of stipends due to 25,907 vulnerable citizens in the State which covers payment of N20,000 each to 15,289 elderly citizens and people living with disabilities under the Special Grant Transfer (SGT) scheme and N7,500 stipend to 10,618 youths under the Public Work Fare (PWF) programme.
Continuing his address, Oyetola said the laws guiding the operation of the lockdown and the general security of the people remain in force, adding that relevant security agencies are on alert to ensure total compliance of the regulation and guarantee safety and security of the people.
While appreciating the citizens and residents for their support, patience and sacrifice, he urged them to continue to observe all precautionary measures and obey the regulations to avert community transmission.
“I thank you once again for your sacrifice and compliance. I count on our collective resolve to win this war against our common enemy. Like I noted during one of my press briefings, we must see ‘coronavirus as our common enemy; it poses a threat to our lives and livelihood. We put ourselves, our families and livelihood in jeopardy when we pander to ignorance and play politics with a life-snuffing virus.’