Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has inaugurated Local Government Action Committees on Coronavirus with a charge on members to ensure adequate awareness creation at the local government level.
Performing the ceremony at the New Banquet Hall of Government House in Makurdi on Tuesday, the Governor said the COVID-19 pandemic requires all hands to be on deck to prevent its spread, stressing that the sensitization must go to the hinterlands in order to save lives.
He expressed optimism that the council chairmen who are also chairmen of the Action Committees at the local government level would collaborate with traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders to drive the campaign on prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ortom expressed his readiness to submit a sample of his blood for testing and promised to make the result public after the test, even as he urged his deputy to do same to be sure of his status.
The Governor also advised council chairmen to prioritise payment of salaries, the Governor directed them to set aside N5 million naira each to fund the activities of COVID-19 in their domains and also attend to any emergencies concerning the virus.
He commended the State Chairman of the Action Committee on COVID-19 and Deputy Governor of the State, Engr. Benson Abounu and other members for their proactiveness on issues despite discouraging comments from some members of the public.
He lamented the attitude of the first index case of the virus in Benue for taking to the cyberspace to spread falsehood in order to assuage public sympathy, stressing that the magnitude of the pandemic was beyond sentiments of whatever kind.
On his part, Deputy Governor of the state, Engr. Benson Abounu, said the committee he chairs has the sole responsibility of sensitizing and educating Benue people about preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19 and what to do in any suspected case.
He stated that the council Chairmen would head the committees while second class traditional rulers would serve as deputies with Directors, General Services and Administration serving as secretaries and other categories of membership cutting across security, civil societies among others.