Kwara State Government on Friday, 27 March, 2020 commended the people of the state for the excellent compliance with the partial lockdown of movement to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to the north central state.
Deputy Governor and Chairman of the State Technical Committee on COVID-19 Kayode Alabi told a news briefing in Ilorin that the compliance with the restrictions that began early Friday showed people’s understanding of the magnitude of the threat and appreciation of government’s efforts to enforce social distancing and protect the people.
He specifically commended the traditional and religious institutions, transport unions and opinion moulders for standing with the government’s efforts.
Alabi however clarified that fuel stations and banks have not been shut as they are in the same category with food and drug merchants which are critical for survival.
He warned against arbitrary hike in the price of essential commodities, saying: “The humanity is faced with a serious threat from a virus that has infected hundreds of thousands and killed thousands other worldwide. The least we need is exploitative attitude from suppliers and merchants of essential commodities at this critical time.”
The statement read: “The Committee commends the people of Kwara State for the excellent compliance even as we continue to monitor developments across Nigeria and beyond. The committee commends our royal fathers, religious leaders, opinion moulders, the transport unions and other stakeholders for their huge support for the measures so far taken. We will continue to seek their maximum support and review situations as we face down this threat.
“The committee wishes to state that apart from the equipment newly installed at the isolation centre, brand new ICU equipment are today being installed at the Sobi Specialist Hospital to strengthen our preparedness. Even then, we wish to state that our priority as a government is to ensure that Kwara is free from this virus through various preventive measures we have taken and are still taking.
“The Committee seriously frowns at the pocket of violations of the lockdown which are a threat to public health. The Committee warns defaulters to desist as the implementation committee has been given the mandate to enforce compliance with all measures put in place to safeguard Kwara from this deadly virus. We repeat: any violation of these measures is a threat to our existence.
“The committee today met with His Royal Highness the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman of the Traditional Council Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari who not only commended the government’s measures but also expressed unreserved support of the council for all the measures adopted by the committee, especially the partial lockdown which is meant to enforce social distancing and protect all of us. His Royal Highness assured the government that the council and opinion moulders would continue to tell the public of the need to stay at home and be safe. This is because this virus is no respecter of anybody. The government is very grateful to His Royal Highness and the entire members of his council.
“Committee hereby clarifies that fuel stations and banks are considered essential and they have not been asked to shut down. The government urges petroleum marketers to dispense fuel as there is no basis for any scarcity. The government appeals to people to avoid creating artificial scarcity.
“The committee seriously frowns at reports of hike in the price of commodities, especially food and other essentials. The humanity is faced with a serious threat from a virus that has infected hundreds of thousands and killed thousands other worldwide. The least we need is exploitative attitude from suppliers and merchants of essential commodities at this critical time.
“The government is considering palliative measures to support the poorest of the poor at this critical moment. The committee will soon brief the public accordingly. But it is important to state that this period calls for personal and collective sacrifice to save all of us. Government will continue to do everything to support and protect the people.
“Finally, the government repeats that our best shot in this time of global health emergency is to stop this virus from entering our state. There is no alternative to that. This is why we appeal to the people of Kwara State to continue to comply as we do not want to bury any Kwaran on account of this pandemic.”