Covid-19: Oyo Govt Takes Sensitization Campaign To Hausa Communities
…says state may lockdown communities that flout precautionary guidelines
…as Hausa leaders promise cooperation
The media sub-committee of the Oyo State Covid-19 Task Force, on Sunday, took its sensitisation campaign to leaders of the Hausa community in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The sensitisation drive, which was led by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun and the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, alerted the communities visited that the essence of the trip was to engineer community ownership of the risk communication messages aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19 in the state.
The committee urged leaders of the Hausa community in Sabo and Shasha in Ibadan to ensure that residents of the communities follow the laid down protocols on how to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
According to the committee, it is only by adhering to the guidelines designed to end Covid-19 that everyone can be safe.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the state government warned the two communities that the state was ready lock down communities, markets and settings that fail to adhere to the precautionary measures.
The delegation, which also included the Special Assistant to the governor on Community Relations (Arewa Community), Alhaji Ahmad Murtala, as well as members of the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) of the state, visited the palaces of the Seriki Hausawa of Ibadanland, Alhaji Dahiru Ahmed Zungeru and the Seriki Sasha, Alhaji Dr. Haruna Maiyasin Katsina (CON).
While speaking, Olatubosun maintained that the visits were part of the community engagement on COVID-19, noting that it was targeted at improving the level of compliance of the residents to the guidelines on the prevention of the virus.
He stated that the government of Governor Makinde considered the Hausa community as an important part of the state and that he was desirous of protecting everyone from contracting the virus.
He said: “Today, we are doing this in accordance with our community engagement policy as regards the advocacy against Covid-19, because we realised that we have to work more on the compliance level of our people.
“We have stepped up our community engagement. We started with a community in Oyo but, today, we decided to reach out to the Hausa community.
“As we are going around, we also felt we should be reading out the Riot Act to all communities as regards the directives of the Governor on Covid-19. Any community that fails to comply with the directives on Covid-19, such will be locked down and dealt with accordingly.
“Our people must adhere to the order on social distancing, which is keeping six feet away from everyone; there must be no gathering of any sort. For instance, in this Ramadan period, nobody is expected to observe karawi, janman and people are not also expected to observe obligatory prayers in groups. People can observe that in their homes with their children and family members but not in the mosques.
“We just finished with the Seriki Sasha and his chiefs. We have also visited the Seriki Hausawa and we believe that this engagement will go a long way in reaching out to the Hausa community. These are some of the things we are doing. People need to believe and appreciate the efforts of Governor Makinde in curtailing the spread of the virus.”
Earlier, a Senior Registrar in Community Medicine at the University College Hospital, Dr. Ronke Atoyebi, who is a member of the state’s Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) had told the two communities of the precautionary guidelines including social distance, sanitization, compulsory use of face masks, among others, noting that adherence to the measures would greatly help in containing the spread of the virus.
In their separate responses, the Seriki Hausa and the Seriki Sasha appreciated the governor for running a government that leaves no one behind, noting that by sending emissaries to the Hausa community to enlighten them on the novel coronavirus, it showed that the governor counted the community as important.
Seriki Hausawa, Alhaji Zungeru, maintained that the Hausa community in Sabo was ready to abide by the rules on prevention of Covid-19, noting that as a community, the Sabo Development Progressive Association and his leadership had immediately swung to action on some of the measures.
He maintained that in line with the directive on the suspension of religious gatherings especially during Ramadan, he had informed all the Imams and clerics in Sabo to suspend group prayers, noting that the directive that prayer gatherings should be suspended during the pandemic was in line with the teaching of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.