By Okeke Jane
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on Nigerians to strictly observe the hygiene and safety measures approved by health authorities to avoid contracting the virus under the partial lockdown.
The Director General of the Agency, Dr. Garba Abari made the call on Friday in Abuja during a press briefing on “The Second Report of the Agencies Observations on Its Sensitization Activities in the Fight Against the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic in Nigeria and NOA Interventions.”
Recall that on May 19th, 2020, NOA released its first report on the sensitization activities and observations in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agency presented video and audio awareness jingles on COVID-19 produced and distributed in English, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and several other languages running on government owned media.
The video and audio jingles are also in use as part of the agency’s communication materials for motorized campaigns in communities in the states, among other key interventions.
Abari said that the partnership between NOA and the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) has deepened the sensitization efforts of the government.
He also mentioned that the partnership it and PLAC has made the sensitization reach local communities of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with targeted, clear and specific information on COVID-19 awareness and prevention using various platforms.
According to the DG, Nigerians have shown disobedience to COVID-19 prevention protocols, adding that the disbelief of danger and impact of the pandemic still persists among some sections of Nigerians.
“Let me use this opportunity to reiterate my earlier call on Nigerians to strictly observe the hygiene and safety measures approved by health authorities to avoid contracting the virus under this partial lockdown.
“The observed incidences of non-compliance in parts of the country is lamentable as a lot of Nigerians have shown unfortunate disregard for social distancing, use of face masks, stay at home order for non-essential workers and other safety measures since the commencement of the partial lockdown.
“Such risky behavior could be detrimental to the fight against COVID-19 as it could expose many to contracting the virus,” he said.
Abari disclosed that government and other relevant stakeholders have been working tirelessly to contain the virus since the index case was recorded in Nigeria.
He said these efforts will not yield the desired results if citizens do not take personal responsibility for their protection against the virus by adhering strictly to prescribed guidelines, protocols and precautions.
“We observed that many state governments are not supporting NOA sensitization efforts with logistics, equipment and information, education and communication materials to enhance sustained sensitization.
“I appealed to state governors to support NOA state offices.While thanking some state governments and organizations that have supported the agency, realizing our important role in community sensitization.
“We appealed for more support for our community awareness campaign on COVID-19,” he said.
Abari also revealed that NOA now exists in all states and that such supports could be sent to its local offices.
He reiterated that the responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is that of everyone, as urged all citizens to join hands to spread the message.