…rescinds decision to open religious centres
By James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun on Friday threatened to ban operations of commercial motorcycle otherwise known as okada in the state, if the operators continue to flout the health measures put in place to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
The Governor of Ogun State, Abiodun, who stated the this while addressing journalists on the update on the fight against the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the state, frowned at non-compliance with safety rules by the Okada riders.
“We observed that motorcycle (Okada) riders are breaking this law and we will not hesitate to ban all of them from operating in our State (Ogun) if our resolve is further put to test”.
The governor also threatened to arrest and prosecute any operators of viewing centers that contravened the lockdown order saying that both the operators and viewers will be prosecuted if caught
Speaking on the initial plan to open religious centres, Abiodun said, base on the facts available, we are suspending our initially slated reopening of places of worship.
“As a responsible Administration, we choose life and the wellbeing of our citizens and are therefore constrained to take the painful but necessary decision to maintain the current regime of eased lockdown in the meantime”.
“We are consequently suspending our initially slated reopening of places of worship. Let me thank some of our religious leaders who by themselves advised us that this is the best decision that we should take at this time in the best interest of all of us”, the governor said.
“This is not an easy decision, but we are confident that the wisdom and scientific basis for this decision will become clearer to those who may have initial misgivings about it”.
“Since the advent of this pandemic in our State, our cautious, methodical, data-driven and scientifically supported approach has ensured not only comparably superior outcomes, we have also not had reasons to reverse our decisions, because our decisions are usually well thought out”.
He said, “In my last briefing, we were considering a tentative date of Friday, 19th June, 2020 to further ease the restrictions and allow gradual opening of places of worship on Fridays and Sundays”.
“Towards this end, we have had robust engagements with the religious leaders – Christian Association of Nigeria and the League of Imams and Alfas”.
“I must thank them for their forthrightness, cooperation, and even appreciation that the curve of the spread of the pandemic is worsening and that places of worship represent most potent fertile grounds for the spread of the deadly virus”.
“After a careful review of the data, feedback from the field, expert opinions, and lessons from far and near, two major conclusions are very clear and obvious to all: first, the COVID-19 situation in Ogun State and indeed in the country as a whole has not improved since the last update”
“Secondly, there are dire consequences in loss of human lives for premature relaxation of the guidelines, necessitating a rollback of the relaxation in a number of states and countries. Unfortunately, guidelines may be rolled back, the lost human lives cannot be rolled back”.
“Our objective is to preserve the welfare and wellbeing of our people at all times. After all, that is the primary reason for the existence of government in the first place. In doing this, it will require tough decisions. I have no doubt that we can continue to count on the understanding and support of our people in this joint war against an invisible enemy which turn wives to widows and children to orphans”.
“In this task, we are confident that we will prevail – through the benevolence of God Almighty and the resilience of the human spirit”.