By Rayyanu Bala
Wuhan in China early this year has since gradually becomes a pandemic
not only to the city of Wuhan but the whole world. The World Health
Organization (WHO) in declaring corona-virus as pandemic charged
countries of the world to treat the virus with all seriousness
considering the number of havoc/death which the virus has caused
especially in Italy and some western countries.
In Nigeria the virus makes inroad into the country first through one
Italian who came into the country through Murtala Muhammad
International Airport Lagos. Gradually the pandemic spread to some
states with total number of cases keeps raising by the day,
National Center for Disease Control put the figures at 84 or so. In
Nasarawa state though the pandemic has not claim any life but adequate
measures are being put in place to avoid the spread of the disease.
Governor Abdullahi Sule who tested negative of the virus along side
his deputy, Dr Emmaunual Akabe and the Emir of Lafia Justice Sidi
Mohammad 1, first started the fight against the spread of
Corona-virus otherwise known as COVID-12 when he convened an
emergency stakeholders meeting in Government House Lafia. In his
address at the meeting Governor Sule drew the attention of Nasarawa
stakeholders on the danger of corona-virus and the need for the state
to do every possible to avoid the spread of the disease.
He (Gov Sule) explained that the issue of corona-virus which has
become a pandemic is eating deep into both health and economic spheres
of various part of the world, stating that “Nigeria can not be in
isolation, and Nasarawa state in particular, can not be in isolation.”
Governor Sule stressed at the meeting that in order to approach the
issue critically and in line with open door policy of his
administration that it became necessary to invite critical
stakeholders to come and be part of the decisions to be taken in order
to protect the people, the state and the economy.
At the end of the stakeholders meeting, it was unanimously agreed that
the state must intensify its advocacy and sensitization across all the
strata of the society in order to curb the spread of the pandemic.
Other resolution arrived at the meeting include among others, the
expansion of the stakeholders to include line ministries such as
education, agriculture and water resources, environment, works and
transport, information, culture and tourism, federal agencies in the
state as well as transport workers, CAN, JNI, JIBWIS, Local Government
Councils for all to take preventive measures to protect the citizenry.
It was also agreed that measures must also be put in place to curb the
spread at motor parks where necessary steps will be taken to check all
incoming and outgoing commuters, as well as extending sensitization
campaigns in market places, social gatherings and religious groups.
At the meeting Governor Sule also directed for the immediate
completion of epidemiological center as part of measures to curb the
spread of the disease.
No sooner had Governor Sule finishes his consultations with the
stakeholder; he proceeded to form a high-power committee on curbing
the spread of corona-virus in Nasarawa state headed by the state
deputy governor Dr Emmanual Akabe. This committee was quickly
inaugurated and swing into action. The chairman of the committee, Dr
Emmanual Akabe at a press conference he organized shortly after the
inauguration, appealed to the people of Nasarawa state to cooperate
with the committee to curb the spread of the pandemic in Nasarawa
state. He said apart from suspension of all academic activities in
primary and secondary as well as higher institutions, the state
government has also suspended all social gatherings, including
weddings and naming ceremonies and directed security agencies to
monitor strict compliance.
Dr Akabe further explained at the press conference that as part of the
measures put in place by the state government to combat the spread of
the virus, all markets across the state has been shut down, except
those selling food items and pharmaceutical shops. The state deputy
governor said his committee has been divided into sub-committees to
ensure effectiveness. The sub-committee according to him includes:
Food security, security, health, justice and law as well as sub
committee on local government.
On suspension of all forms of social gatherings, Dr Akabe explained
that where it has become necessary to hold such gatherings attendance
should be restricted to members of the immediate family of not more
than 20 people. The Akabe committee further revealed that motor parks
in the state have been collapsed to only one in each local government
area, while medical professionals will be drafted to monitor commuters
coming and going out of the state, adding that government will no
longer allow commercial vehicles to pick and drop passengers by the
roadside except at designated motor parks.
On worship centers, Dr Akabe insisted that all Mosques and Churches
will remain closed until further notice and appealed to people to
appreciates the predicament we finds ourselves.
He stressed that in the event, the state government shutdown the
state, the committee has plan in place to purchase foodstuff such as
maize, beans, rice and millet among others for reservations, saying
that commissioner Agriculture and water resources has been mandated
to go round the state and identify all food reservoirs in the state.
Additional measures put in place to cushion the effect of the
according to Dr Akabe, include rehabilitations of ten broken down
boreholes in each local government areas as temporary measures to
ensure supply of clean water.
The state deputy governor also disclosed that government directed all
local government chairmen in the state to replicate the work of the
committee at local government level and to recall all retired nurses
to run isolation centers spread across the state.
As if all these measures were not enough, the governor himself
reaffirmed all these position taken by the government to curb the
spread of COVID-19 in the state when he made a proclamation on the
reinforcement of restriction of movement in Nasarawa state.
To further ensure all what the government has proclaimed regarding
COVID-19, Governor Sule embarked on unscheduled tour of all isolated
centers and carried out an assessment tour to some places to monitor
compliance to restriction of movement and the rules of social
distancing. At Akwanga Sports Academy which is one of the designated
isolation centres, Governor Sule expresses satisfaction with
arrangement put in place and assures of government support at all
times. From Akwanga, Governor Sule proceeded to Laminga in Nasarawa
local government along with Senator Abdullahi Adamu. At the palace of Chief of Laminga, Governor Sule reiterate that social distancing constitutes a set of safety measures like the regulation to stay at home, closure of markets, social outlets and places of religious worship.
Governor Sule stated that “citizens of Nasarawa State should abide by these regulations of social distancing not only to protect themselves, but also to protect their own families and close acquaintances from being infected with CORVID 19.
While affirming that strict monitoring and enforcement by security agencies would become more stringent as the days go by, Governor Sule appealed to traditional rulers to help in enlightening their people to abide by all rules and proclamations pronounced by government. Governor Sule from all intents and purposes is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that coronavirus gets no place in Nasarawa state. His proactive measures thus far needs thumbs up.