Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State, on Wednesday, imposed a 6 pm. to 7 am. curfew on the state until further notice, as part of measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, had on Monday, confirmed five cases in Gombe.
Mr Yahaya, who said in a state-wide broadcast that the curfew would to take effect from 6pm on Thursday, told residents to stay indoors.
He said that the decision was taken after due consultation with relevant stakeholders, adding “despite the proactive measures we took in order to prevent the importation of the virus, we are now confronted with the sad news of its emergence.
“I hereby issue an executive order imposing the following: that a dusk to dawn curfew across the entire state from 6 pm. to 7 am., with effect from 6 pm. of Thursday, April 23, be imposed,” the governor said.
He also the suspension of all markets and businesses, congregational activities for social, cultural and religious purposes as well as intra-state transportation from one local government to another.
“Consequently, all motor parks across the state and Tsangaya (Almajiri) schools across the state are hereby closed,” he said.
The governor, who said that essential services were, however, exempted from the order, added that necessary steps would be taken to ensure the safe return of all Almajiris from other states back to their respective states of origin.
Mr Yahaya directed security agencies to ensure compliance with the executive order, while hinting that “a special compliance taskforce had been constituted to oversee enforcement of these directives with active representation from security agencies, traditional leaders and religious leaders.”
The governor restated his administration’s commitment to safeguarding the lives and livelihoods of the people, saying “we are mindful of the economic consequences that these measures are going to have.
“On our part, government is putting up palliative measures to cushion the economic effects of COVID-19. In this regard, we shall set up a palliative committee under the chairmanship of His Royal Highness, the Emir of Gombe.
“The committee will oversee the organisation and distribution of relief materials to the people during this period,” he said.
Mr Yahaya said that government would embark on widespread fumigation of all high-risk public places.
“I advise the public to adhere strongly to the use of face masks, regular hand washing with soap, use of hand sanitisers, social distancing and voluntary self-isolation.,” he said.
The governor further called on the state’s COVID-19 Taskforce Surveillance Team to intensify efforts to trace all contacts of confirmed cases and take appropriate actions, as provided in the COVID-19 management guidelines.
“This is the time to be more proactive and vigilant in order to win this fight against COVID-19,” he said.