…Warns Against Diversion of Relief Materials.
By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
As the total lockdown order to combat the spread of Covid-19 pandemic becomes effective in Ogun State on Saturday, the executive governor of the state, Prince Dapo Abiodun said that his government intended to provide relief materials, majorly food comprising of five Kilograms of rice, beans, garri among others to at least 500,000 households resident in the state.
Abiodun said that the government targeted 100,000 households in the first instance and that the relief materials which are mainly meant for the poor, the vulnerables and must be distributed across party lines, would be coordinated by a task force headed by Chairman of each respective local government.
He disclosed that the government has set up food banks in each of the three senatorial districts in the state from where the relief materials would be transported to all the local governments under each of the senatorial districts
Other members of the task force which must also be replicated across the 236 wards of the state are the Chairman of Community Development Council in the local government as Vice Chairman, Chairmen of both Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Leagues of Imam and Alfas in the local government, House of Assembly members, a Director or Permanent Secretary from the state civil service who is from the local government, two political appointees serving in the local government while the Head of the Local Government Administration (HOLGA) serves as the Secretary.
The governor said that while the task force must daily submit reports of their activities for proper scrutiny and monitoring, any account of sharp practices, diversion of these relief packages or intent to defeat the essence of these noble efforts of the government to make life a bit bearable for its citizens during the lockdown would be viewed with all seriousness and punishment that it deserved.
Prince Abiodun disclosed this Friday night while addressing journalists at his country home in Iperu Remo on the total lockdown of the state which began 11 pm last night.
The governor said that during the lockdown, there wouldn’t be movement of persons and vehicles except for those on essential duties such as health workers, journalists, petroleum workers among others until Tuesday morning when people would be allowed to engage in bit of commerce, have opportunity to ventilate from 7am to 2pm after which the lockdown will begin until Thursday morning when people will have a similar opportunity.
Abiodun said that during this period when the curfew is relaxed for people to briskly attend to their businesses, they must put on their nose masks because it has been found to have greatly assisted in curbing the spread of Coronavirus in some countries of the world with lesser incidents
He explained that “it is not compulsory you have to wear any expensive ones, you can as well make yours from Ankara fabric, only the adire cloth you cannot use so that you won’t be breathing in the chemical in the dye used for the cloth. You can also use your bandana, just ensure you have your mask on because the government would enforce this wearing of mask in the coming days”.
The governor said that it was important for people to stay indoors during this lockdown so as not to inhale disinfectant chemicals that will be use to decontaminate the length and breadth of the state including markets, motor parks, under bridges among other public places when this curfew is imposed.
He revealed further that out of about 200 cases of Coronavirus recorded in the state, only four were from the state out of which two people were already discharged while the third person have also tested negative twice and must have been discharged on Friday night.
The governor said that while he trusted God that the state won’t witness upsurge of this disease, his government had made adequate preparation to render topnotch medical care for the people with the establishment of five Isolation Centres, one each at HID Awolowo Model School, Ikenne Remo and Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) Sagamu.
In addition, governor Abiodun said they have acquired 12 Ventilators, eight of which are combined ventilator and anesthesia machine and four of which are mobile Ventilators.
“We are very grateful to RCCG, in particular Baba Adeboye, for donated two Ventilators from the ICU to us and it means that we now have a total of 14 Ventilators in Ogun State. And 12 of which were acquired by self help while two were donated by Baba Adeboye”.
“I would like to mention at this point in time that our 250 bed hospital has a 10 bed ICU that also come with 10 Ventilators, we are making spirited effort to launch the floor that has the 10 bed ICU, we are hoping that in the next two to three weeks, that floor will be launched. while isolating the rest of the hospital that would provide an additional 10 Ventilators to what we already have, meaning that we have 24 Ventilators available to us in Ogun State”.