…As Benue arrests 3 foreigners, 9 Almajirai in stowaway bus
By Peter Duru
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, yesterday disclosed that four persons, including a state lawmaker had so far died of COVID-19 in the state.
This came as Benue State Action Committee on COVID-19 has arrested three Nigeriens and nine almajirai from Bauchi and Katsina states in a stowaway bus destined for the state.
Governor Sule, who spoke in Lafia at the review meeting of the state’s COVID-19 committee, lamented that the state unfortunately recorded four deaths including the member of the state assembly representing Nasarawa-West out of the 90 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.
He said 705 samples were taken from the state to the Nigeria Centre of Disease Control, NCDC) for testing since the pandemic started, saying “Out of the 705 samples taken, we have so far received 658 results and 90 were confirmed positive, while results of the remaining are still being awaited. Those receiving treatment at the various isolation centres in the state are so far responding to treatment.”
Governor Sule assured the people of the state that the government under his leadership would always prioritize their welfare, health and security in line with the oath of office, expressing gratitude to traditional rulers, security, health personnel, journalists and other stakeholders for their efforts toward containing the virus.
Sule equally thanked God for sparing the life of Joseph Masin, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in the state who recently regained his freedom from kidnapers.
In Benue, the state Action Committee on COVID-19 has arrested three Nigeriens and nine almajiri 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 routine meeting of the committee’s routine, said the arrested persons smuggled 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 (Wednesday). Of the number four are Benue indigenes that live in Wadata area of Makurdi town. As we speak, the three who are from Niger Republic have been handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service to deal with them as appropriate. As for the nine almajiri we will acquire a bus that will take them out of Benue State. The vehicle has been impounded and the driver has been arrested.”
Meanwhile Governor Samuel Ortom, has directed the state’s immediately 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.
“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.