….Ortom orders civil servants back to work, reopens worship centres, markets
By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The Benue State Action Committee on COVID-19 early Wednesday arrested three Nigeriens and nine Almajiris from Bauchi and Katsina states in a stowaway bus destined for the state.
Chairman of the committee and Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Benson Abounu who made the disclosure at the end of a routine meeting of the committee’s routine said the arrested persons smuggle themselves into the state despite the lockdown on interstate movement.
According to Mr Abounu, “we apprehended 16 able-bodied men that entered Benue state in the early hours of this morning. Of the number four are Benue indigenes that live in the Wadata area of Makurdi town.
“As we speak, the three who are from the Niger Republic have been handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service to deal with them as appropriate. As for the nine Almajiris, we will acquire a bus that will take them out of Benue state. The vehicle has been impounded and the driver has been arrested,” he added.
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom had earlier directed the state’s immediate compliance with the Federal Government’s nationwide review of the COVID-19 measures and restriction orders.
According to him, “with effect from June 3, 2020 Churches and Mosques are to hold staggered worship sessions. This implies that a Church or Mosque which before now held two worship sessions should henceforth conduct four or more sessions in a day to ensure physical distancing.
“Each worship session must not last more than one hour. Churches and Mosques should endeavour to provide water, soap, and alcohol-based hand sanitizers for worshippers, and should insist on wearing of face masks.”
Continuing, Governor Ortom said, “Benue State civil servants on grade levels 1 to 12 are to resume work on June 8, 2020. The workers are advised to always wear face masks and maintain physical distancing as they go to work.
“Markets are to be opened but subject to physical distancing protocol on COVID-19. Public gatherings are permitted with a maximum of 30 persons who must comply with the protocol of COVID-19.
“Inter-state movement remains banned, except those on essential services. The prevailing curfew in the State has been reviewed to now last between the hours of 10 pm to 4 am daily, until further notice while schools remain closed till further notice,” he added.