Oyo State Government has expressed its readiness to halt the influx of people into the State from other States of the Federation to further prevent the spread COVID-19.
The Information and Risk Communication Sub-Committee of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force stated this on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, during a sensitization campaign in border towns within the five Local Governments areas in Ogbomoso land.
The State’s Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatubosun, who led the Campaign Team, told Border town residents that the State Government is determined to stop the influx defiant Nigerians who have been violating the Nationwide restriction on Inter–State movement.
Dr Olatubosun, in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa, the State Government would leave no stone unturned to ensure that its Border towns were effectively secured.
The Team, according to the statement, embarked on house-to-house sensitization of residents of various communities in Ogbomosoland on how to prevent the novel Coronavirus.
The Committee noted that observing hygienic practices, physical distancing and avoiding harbouring Travellers from other Countries or neighbouring States without first reporting them to the Government authorities are important steps towards guarding against the virus.
The Commissioner and his Team members, who monitored Inter–State lockdown compliance at Oki, Oko, Otee and Ijado towns, which share boundaries with Osun and Kwara States respectively, decried the low level of compliance with the Inter–State lockdown directive in the communities.
He also admonished the residents of the respective communities to cooperate with the Security Personnel in manning the Borders; adding that the State Government would take all necessary measures to block all the illegal boundary routes that motorists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are plying to enter Oyo State from Osun and Kwara States, including the international Borders.
He also called on the Government of Osun and Kwara States to put strict measures in place at their respective Borders as a way of enforcing total compliance with the Inter–State movement restriction directive.
Earlier, the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Surulere Local Government Area, Mr Salawu Olayinka, briefed the Commissioner and the Sub-Committee members on the challenges facing his personnel at the Border posts in the area.
According to Mr Olayinka, residents of the Border communities were not cooperating with the security personnel, noting that: “they are in the habit of threatening our men whenever we resist violation of the Border closure. In fact, they have created footpaths in the bushes around here as escape routes where people from Ejigbo in Osun State enters Oyo State.”
Speaking at the palaces of the Alapa of Oki town, Prof. John Akintola and the Oloko of Oko town, Dr Solomon Akinola, the Commissioner sought the cooperation of the traditional rulers to prevail on their subjects to abide with the movement restriction at the Borders.
Dr Olatubosun further urged the traditional rulers to deploy local hunters to the illegal routes created in the Border communities as a way of enhancing the job of the conventional security operatives that were manning major boundary Borders.
According to the Commissioner, as of May 10, Oyo State had recorded 64 cases of COVID-19, and seven of the cases were from Ogbomoso zone; adding that: “Five out of the seven cases are from here, Surulere LG, so our people should take the issue of Coronavirus serious by obeying all guidelines put in place by the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde, to contain and curb the spread of the virus in the State.”
He intimated the residents to take their personal hygiene serious, abide with physical distancing, regular hand washing with soap, use of sanitizers and facemasks in public places, while also imploring the residents of the various Border towns and villages not to hesitate to report to Government the arrival of any person into their respective communities.
In their separate responses, the royal fathers commended the administration of Governor Makinde for its proactive measures in combating the spread of Coronavirus across the State, promising to continue supporting all Government efforts at curbing the spread of the virus in their respective communities.
Facemasks and hand sanitisers were later given to the traditional rulers for onward distribution to their respective subjects, while Dr Olatubosun also distributed facemasks to residents on the streets of Oko, Oki, Ijado and Otee towns.