Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri has praised the innovative drive of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, in combating the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country.
Governor Diri gave the commendation when a delegation from the Ife monarch presented two locally fabricated Motorised Modular Fumigators to the state government in Government House, Yenagoa.
The governor, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Dr Konbowei Benson, noted that the country can attain greatness if only its leaders can grow and support local industries for internal and external consumption.
In a press release by his Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, the governor described the virus as an invisible enemy that can be defeated through collective effort.
Governor Diri expressed appreciation to the Ooni for considering Bayelsa as one of the first states to benefit from the locally fabricated machines.
He said the monarch has extended his knowledge beyond the throne into checking the spread of the virus by being pivotal to the invention of the motorised modular fumigator and urged him not to relent in his effort to positively affect lives, especially in these challenging times.
Speaking earlier, the Ooni, who was represented by Oba Awosunle Babatunde, the Elejesi of Ife Kingdom, said the reason behind the donation is part of his resolve to collaborate with state governments in the country to defeat a common enemy.
Oba Ogunwusi, who spoke through the Palace Director in charge of Communication, Mr Moses Olafare, said in this 21st century, we need to be proactive and innovative in the battle against a global threat to life rather than waiting for the government to do it alone.
The monarch explained that the motorised fumigator was locally fabricated by young engineers sourced by him and that the materials used were all from Ile-Ife.
He noted that since his ascension to the throne, his passion has been to grow the local industry to drive the Nigerian economy and the donation was a practical example of what he had been championing for the country to look inward for sustainable economic growth.
Also speaking, a member of the delegation, Princess Kemi Fadojutimi, explained that the chemical used for the fumigation is friendly to the skin but harmful to the virus and that the machine can also be useful for pest control purposes in a post-COVID-19 era.