Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun on Friday announced the extension of the total lockdown imposed on the state as part of measures to flatten the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
Abiodun, who made the announcement, while briefing newsmen at his Oke Mosan office on the activities of the state government to curb the further spread of COVID-19 pandemic, said he decided to extend the lockdown because of the belief that human lives are more sacred than economic well-being.
He said the windows of relaxation will continue to be available on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 7.00 am to 5.00 pm on each day of the window of relaxation.
He added that the daily curfew and ban on non-essential of inter-State travel as directed by Mr. President still stand.
He said, “the entire people of Ogun State, have not elected me to make easy decisions. And tough decisions, we have to make. Now, to preserve the lives of our people, we are persuaded to extend the currently modified lockdown, which has been slightly eased, for another one week alongside the current guidelines. This will be reviewed, as usual, on a weekly basis”.
“Let me state that we appreciate that the cost of not easing the lockdown. It all boils down to the debate of welfare over wellbeing, between life and livelihood. While it will be great to have a thriving economy, we also realize that humans are the main beneficiaries of thriving economies. The question is, how much is a human life worth to us? This is not a popularity contest”.
“The fact is that the economy can only run if there are humans to run it. And, when human lives are involved, we have chosen human lives over and above other considerations”.
“We should always remember that we are the closest in proximity to Lagos, the epi-center of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. It is not a matter to be taken lightly. As the number of positive cases in Lagos increases, we, in Ogun State, must be concerned about possible spillover, particularly as our people continue to travel across state lines, despite warnings and the ban on interstate travels”.
“Wearing a face mask is mandatory. It is important to note that we have provided, and continue to provide, facemasks to public servants, groups, and associations. However, the government alone cannot provide facemasks to all. Individuals that have a need to go out have a personal responsibility to procure and use facemasks in public, as the enforcement will continue to be strengthened with the full weight of law meted out to violators”.
“We appreciate the need to balance public health and safety against economic activities. Nonetheless, whilst we intensify sensitization and morale situation, our security agencies in Ogun State have been duly briefed and empowered to do the needful to assist the heroic efforts of health and other frontline workers to flatten the curve”.
“We have expanded the COVID-19 Enforcement Task Force to the three Senatorial Districts and 20 local government areas to strengthen enforcement across the state. In this regard, security agencies, particularly the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) are now members of the Task Force in their respective divisions”.
“Furthermore, towards ensuring strict adherence to these measures, our mobile courts have been galvanized to try any erring person irrespective of the class or creed”.
“I must also state that more stringent measures will be taken if we observe that our people continue to show disregard for the precautionary measures that our medical experts have stated for the prevention and non-transmission of COVID-19. We cannot continue to put the lives of others at risk and our lives in collective jeopardy because some people simply throw caution to the winds”.
” We have also noted the unpatriotic acts of some individuals who try to breach the ban on inter-State travel by smuggling people across the inter-State borders in trucks conveying essential items. Let me state unequivocally that we will not tolerate any further breach on the ban of inter-State travel. Anybody found culpable will be treated for committing a crime against Ogun State and visited with the full weight of the law”.
“As part of our community sensitization for the full and strict implementation of this ban, we have continued to engage the various non-Ogun State tribal community leaders through the office of the Special Assistants on non-indigenes Relations”.
“We have also charged our Paramount rulers and our various Baales, especially at the border communities to report any suspected movement of people across our dear State borders. It is pertinent to note that the governors have also resolved that violators of ban on interstate travel should be promptly apprehended and sent back in the same vehicles that brought them to their state of origin. To be forewarned is to be forearmed”.
“As your Government, we will continue to ensure that we do all that is humanly possible to protect the lives and property of all the people of Ogun State. In the case of COVID-19, especially, we have continued to put in place adequate facilities towards ensuring we win the war against this enemy of humanity”.
“In the last one week, we have added another Treatment and Isolation Center with 65-bed spaces in Abeokuta here. This facility is separate from and in addition to the 70-bed Treatment Centre at the newly renovated Infectious Diseases Hospital in Iberekodo Abeokuta, thus bringing the combined total bed spaces for treatment of COVID-19 patients in Ogun State to over 300”.