By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State on Friday morning flagged off fumigation of the state capital and environs, despite heavy downpour which started around 10:30am while he was delivering his address.
The rain made many people around to scamper for shelter, including security operatives and government functionaries, but the Governor went on with his address and flag off the exercise despite the downpour.
It would be recalled that Chairman of COVID-19 and Governor of the state, Simon Lalong had on Monday while briefing journalists declared a total lockdown from midnight Thurday 9th April to Wednesday 15th April 2020.
The State Government has also established 10 mobile courts meant to ensure enforcement and compliance to the aforementioned directive of Government, which it said was aimed at protecting the citizens from the Coronavirus Pandemic and also ensuring that the entire State is fumigated.
Lalong in his address while flagging off the fumigation exercise at the terminus roundabout, in Jos, the state capital, said, “We are gathered here in continuation of our efforts at fighting the Coronavirus Pandemic that is ravaging the world and continues to spread in Nigeria.
“Our mission here is to begin the fumigation of the entire State against the Coronavirus Disease.
“Since the outbreak of the disease, our Government has taken several steps aimed at ensuring that the disease does not come into the State.
He added that the State government has been preparing in the unfortunate event if any case is recorded in the State so that it can respond appropriately.
“That is why we announced a total lockdown of the State, which began some hours ago.
“During this period, the entire State will be fumigated; which includes, all Public places such as markets, Streets, Office Premises among others will be fumigated.
“I call on all our citizens to stay at home in line with the directive we have issued in order to achieve the aim of this exercise”, he maintained.
“In addition to the fumigation, the lockdown will also help us reduce any tendency for inter-State transfer of the disease and enable us respond appropriately to any suspected case and contact tracing.
“We shall be getting a Testing Centre here in Plateau State in the coming days, which will also boost our capacity to identify any case faster.
“These are difficult and unusual times for not only Plateau State, but also the world at large”, he explained.
According to him, “Ordinarily, we should not be doing an event like this on a Good Friday, but the times warrant this and we continue to appeal for the patience and understanding of our citizens.
“For our Christian brothers and sisters, let us use this Solemn Easter Friday to cry unto God within our homes to show us mercy and remove this pandemic.
The further stated that, “Like Archbishop Jose Gomez, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said, ‘Our Churches may be closed, but Christ is not quarantined and his Gospel is not in chains. Even though we cannot worship together, each of us can seek God in the tabernacles of our hearts’.
“Similarly, our Muslim brethren should also use this day to offer solemn Zuhur Prayers in their homes for God to intervene and save us from this calamity.
“Let me again appeal to all citizens to abide by the lockdown directive in order to make the work of law enforcement officers easier. We do not want to hear of ugly cases of harsh enforcement”, Lalong stressed.
Our correspondent observed as at the time of filing this report that there has been strict compliance to the lockdown directive in the Jos-Bukuru metropolis as only those permitted to move are seen and the roads are empty as if it where a ghost town.