BY MARY KUYE
Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Ekiti State Governor has ordered a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the state from 7 am to 7 pm daily for 14-day to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
.Fayemi, who spoke on Sunday, said that from the midnight of Monday, all residents must stay at home except those on essential services. He explained that no offices, businesses of any sort of places of worship are allowed to operate.
According to him, inter and intra-local government and towns’ movements are prohibited too within the stipulated time frame.
Fayemi was forced to adopt the movement restriction due to the lukewarm, nonchalant or downright defiance of some residents in observing compliance with all the earlier directives given to protect themselves from infection and curtail the spread of the virus in their communities.
He warned that anyone that violates the orders shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction, liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
He said, “It is an urgent public interest that we must ensure strict compliance with all directives given to prevent community spreading of the disease.
“Therefore, in our collective interest and to further ensure the safety of Ekiti-kete, having declared Coronavirus an infectious disease in Ekiti State, I hereby, in pursuant to Section 8 of the Quarantine Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) impose a curfew of movement in Ekiti State.
“The purpose of this curfew is to impose restrictions on the movement of persons and goods within Ekiti State for an initial period of fourteen days. This is in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in Ekiti State.
“All boundaries of Ekiti State are closed during this period, except for transportation of fuel, food and drugs and other essential goods”, he said.
Fayemi directed that all commuter transport services including bus services, taxi services, motorbikes and tricycle services are prohibited except those for purposes of rendering essential services.
“All non-residents who arrive the State prior to, or after, the imposition of this restriction, and who remain in the State, must remain in their place of temporary residence in the State for the duration of the 14 days, as the case may be, and may be subjected to screening for COVID-19 and be quarantined or isolated if necessary,” he added.
The governor directed that the state Food Bank be reactivated immediately to provide food items for the poor and vulnerable families in communities in the state, adding that the task force will announce the modalities as soon as the process is fully activated.
He added that the government will consider providing a stipend to self-employed citizens whose daily income will be interrupted at this time as a subsidy for their loss of income.
“I have directed the Commissioners for Finance and Budget to advise on the amount the state can afford in view of our dire financial constraints,” the governor stated.
He said that the government shall commence the disinfecting of major public places like markets, bus stops, motor parks, health facilities and all likely places where the virus may be lurking across our state.
Fayemi said the fight against coronavirus is a very expensive battle, especially for the people of the state, where they can barely meet regular obligations.
“I have therefore been holding meetings with development partners, philanthropic bodies and federal agencies to assist us in preventing an outbreak in Ekiti State by providing access to some of the support available nationally. We have also set up an Ekiti State COVID-19 Pandemic Support Account with UBA Current Account Number 1022752067 for donations towards our efforts in this regard.
“Ekiti-kete, this indeed is a trying period, not only for our state or nation, but for the whole world. I therefore plead for your understanding and tolerance as we jointly fight and defeat this monster, COVID-19.
“As a government, to save the lives of Ekiti-kete is our topmost priority. Hence, it is my plea to you to continue staying wherever you are now within Ekiti State.
“The coming days are definitely going to be unusual and somewhat unpleasant, but if this is what it takes to ensure our collective safety, I urge you all to cooperate with the government and make the sacrifice,” he said.