The Executive governor of Oyo state Engineer Seyi Makinde has reiterated his stand that there is no need to lock down the state amidst the coronavirus pandemic currently spreading globally, not weighing on the fact that Oyo state currently have the highest number of coronavirus cases 8 (Eight) in Nigeria after Lagos and Federal Capital Territory with 82 and 28 respectively as at 8:00pm, March 31st 2020
With the current lockdown of Lagos and Ogun States in the Southwest by the Federal government, the proximity of Oyo State to the two states, one would have thought a lockdown of the state should be activated by the state government and even as the #lockdownOyo hashtag has been trending on social media especially twitter since yesterday.
The state governor Engr. Seyi Makinde while speaking of some radio programs and tweets on his personal twitter handle @seyiamakinde said, the state government will not lockdown the state as the Covid-19 Oyo State Task Force continue to assess the situation, relying heavily on fact based and logical opinion from experts “Everything which can be done to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Oyo state is on the table, we will continue assess the situation and take additional measures when necessary but remember that my own background is engineering and I kept on saying it to people as an Engineer, you take decision that are based on logic and fact, this is an uncharted territory, we kept on interacting with the experts to find out what are the facts emerging. Lagos and Ogun can be on lockdown but that doesn’t apply to Oyo state. People have been saying Oyo state should lock down too but I have been asking the pertinent questions. What are going to be the benefits of lockdown in Oyo state? Are there other alternative cause of action for us to take? There are some people that it’s what they sell daily that they eat from, there activities today determine what they will eat tomorrow. There are many people like this within our environment, are their alternative available to us? Can we do selective lockdown? This is why we imposed the curfew, if we say stay at home from 7pm to 6am we really want people to stay at home, just to ensure that we curtail these coronavirus. We have everything on the table but it has to follow logical pattern and with input of the experts.
I have also being watching the CNN (Cable News Network) the most successful country to contain the coronavirus spread is Czechoslovakia. One of the laws they made was that if you must leave your house you must wear a mask. It may be that route for us to go if we must but we also have to think about people who cannot afford the mask. Can we make mask locally? Can we get our artisans, tailors to produce the masks with funding from the government? This are the type of solutions we are looking at beyond the lockdown policy.
I pity those playing people who rather than reflect deeply on where we are and the situation we are faced with it but have chosen to play politics with it.
Governor Seyi Makinde who relinquished the leadership of the Covid-19 Oyo State Task Force to former Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital UCH Professor Temitope Alonge after testing positive to the Corona Virus disease enjoined the good people of Oyo state not to press the panic button as the government is on top of the situation.
“I want to tell our people everywhere in Oyo state they should not panic because there is no cause for alarm. The government is doing everything in her capacity to contain and curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease. The diagnostic centers in Ibadan has commenced operation, which means we can test many people I implore anyone with symptoms to call the phone numbers of the emergency operation center, they will come and take their samples wherever they are for testing. We have gone far working to put in place the Infections Disease Center at Olodo, Ibadan, I can assure you that the place will be ln operation this week. I want to implore all citizens to please adhere strictly to all directives from the Oyo state Covid-19 taskforce. God will help us and also know that cleanliness is the surest antidote to any diseases let us keep out environment clean at all time.
I want to implore all the good people of Oyo state that Covid-19 is real, please follow all measure put in place to control and curtail the virus.
Stay at home, maintain social distance, wash your hand with water, use hand sanitizer regularly, these are things we have to do to stop the spread of this virus. I know how resilience we one as people but I don’t want any casualty in Oyo state, I don’t want anyone to lose their lives and I don’t want people to doubt the message of the government. They gave us the opportunity to serve them and that is exactly what we are going to do” he concluded
Reports By ADEFARATI Abiodun