Members of the Association of Local Government Information Officers (ALGIO) chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State chapter, on Saturday, kick-started a sensitization campaign to the grassroots on how to prevent the novel Coronavirus.
The campaign under the aegis of the Coalition for Grassroots Volunteers Against COVID-19 (COGVAC-19), held in partnership with the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, under the leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde, was kicked off in Ijawaya Village, Atiba Local Government Area of Oyo by the State’s Commissioner for Information, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, who represented the governor.
A statement signed by the Special Assistant (Print Media) to the governor, Moses Alao, indicated that the sensitization campaign took place at the village square, with villagers, ALGIO members and state officials observing the mandatory social distance, while there was also a house-to-house sensitization where villagers were given nose masks, washing soaps and hand sanitisers.
Explaining the rationale for setting up the campaign, the chairman of ALGIO chapel, Oyo State, Alhaji Kunle Kareem, said local government information officers in the State wanted to contribute to the State’s efforts to prevent COVID-19, noting that the body chose to take the campaign to the grassroots because there is always a dearth of information at the rural communities.
This was as the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, who was represented by the Samu of Oyo Kingdom, Chief Lamidi Oyewale, commended Governor Makinde for being up and doing on how to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 in the State.
The foremost royal father stated this when he received the Commissioner, the chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Oyo State, who also doubles as the chairman of the COGVAC-19 advisory committee, Comrade Bayo Titilola-Sodo and other ALGIO officials and members at the palace.
At the sensitization campaign, which also had in attendance the caretaker chairmen of Atiba and Afijio Local Governments, Alhaji Ibrahim Akinkunmi and Mr. Gbenga Okeleye, the Commissioner for Information, Dr. Olatubosun, said the State decided to join force with ALGIO because its vision to take the message of COVID-19 prevention to the grassroots was in alignment with the efforts of the State’s COVID-19 Task Force under the leadership of Governor Makinde.
He said: “Our leader, Governor Seyi Makinde directed us to greet you and to appreciate you for your support. Today, I am here to sell two things to you: one, how to prevent yourself and your household from contracting COVID-19 and two, why you should continue to support the Governor Makinde administration. The progress of Oyo is the topmost interest of the governor but you all will have to play your part by supporting us.
“COVID-19 is highly infectious and there is no cure for now. Our governor has been working hard to contain the spread of the virus. You must join hands with him.
“I know that we Yoruba people love our children who return from overseas. But the signs of the time do not allow you to rub bodies with overseas returnees or hide them. Now, if you see anyone who returns from abroad, tell him or her to isolate for 14 days or inform your local government chairman, who will in turn, inform us in Ibadan.
“Coronavirus does not respect wealth, religion or countries, the best way is to prevent it is run from people who return from abroad or even Lagos or Abuja. If you see someone coughing, sneezing or having high temperature, quickly inform us. Coronavirus does not show on the face, that is why you must prevent it.
“The govt believes in house-to-house campaign and that is why we are here.”
Also speaking on how residents of the community could prevent the COVID-19, the consultant on COGVAC-19, Mr. Debo Adeoye, charged residents of the village to always maintain social distance even while in their farms, adding that washing of hands with water and soap at all times and avoiding contacts with the eyes, noses and mouths without first washing their hands were important at this period.
He also advised on the use of hand sanitisers, adding that as villagers, they should consume more fruits and vegetables, which have been proved to contain immune-boosting nutrients.
Oyo State NLC chairman, Titilola-Sodo, equally admonished the residents of Ijawaya to ensure the follow the guidelines they were taught on how to prevent the virus, even as he commended the Makinde administration for being workers-friendly.
Earlier, the caretaker chairman of Atiba Local Government, Akinkunmi, expressed delight that the sensitization began in his local government, charging the residents to ensure that they follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
Similarly, the representative of Baale Ijawaya, Alhaj Raheem Ishola, Pa. David Oladokun appreciated the entourage for the programme, while another resident, Mrs. Nusi Raheem, commended the Makinde government for working for the masses.