From Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State Government has raised the alarm over plan by some criminal elements to unleash terror on innocent communities in the state during the Yuletide season.
This was disclosed at yesterday a stakeholders meeting convened by Governor Simon Bako Lalong at Government House Jos, with Local Government Chairmen, traditional rulers, religious leaders, community leaders and health experts to discuss how best to address security issues and COVID-19 second wave in line with the advisory of the Presidential Task Force in the state.
The Government resolved that it does not intend to impose a lockdown in response to the COVID-19 second wave but will ensure strict compliance to all protocols and ensure security of lives and property.
Secretary to the Government of Plateau State, Prof. Danladi Abok Atu, who is the Coordinator of the State Taskforce on COVID-19 and Government is working with security agencies to be more proactive to security in the state and advised citizens to adhere strictly on COVID-19 protocols.
Prof. Atu said the event was organised to draw the attention of the stakeholders to the urgency of the situation occasioned by the second wave of the pandemic particularly during the yuletide season.
He said the Governor has directed that strong measures must be taken to ensure that people are sensitised to observe all the COVID-19 protocols in order to curb the spread of the disease.
He said the meeting adopted that “All public gatherings including places of worship should cut down attendance to 50 percent of their capacity.
“All cultural festivals are banned. The use of facemasks should be enforced in all public places while social distancing, hand washing and other protocols are adhered to.
“Covid-19 Testing should be enhanced in all Local Government areas while all sample collection Centres be publicised to encourage voluntary testing.”
Prof. Atu said security reports available to the Government indicate that some criminal elements are planning attacks on some communities in the State during the yuletide season.
He said the Governor mandated the meeting to foster a more community-driven response to intelligence and surveillance so as to assist security agencies with useful information to enable them respond to any threat of attack by criminals.
Atu said the State Government is working with the security agencies to be more proactive rather than reactive. He also said the State has strengthened Operation Rainbow to ensure that it compliments the security effort.
“We will Reinforce surveillance and intelligence gathering in all communities. All security threats should be reported immediately using the appropriate channels. Public transporters particularly commercial tricycle operators should be registered.
“Vigilante groups and community watch groups should be motivated. All suspects arrested for crimes such as kidnapping, murder should be thoroughly investigated.
“All boundary routes into the State and within the Local Government areas should be monitored and check-points mounted to monitor movements.”