By Henry Odeh
The sensitization and enlightenment drive of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force continued on Thursday, as the state’s Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, led members of the Media and Sensitisation Committee of the Task Force to Oke Ogun zone.
Similar sensitization efforts had been taken to Oyo and Ogbomoso zones in the past weeks, as the state government continues to intensify efforts on sensitization as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus in the state.
This was as the Task Force maintained that failure to wear nose masks in the state will soon begin to attract penalty, as defaulters of the guideline will be prosecuted and appropriately punished.
The committee said that wearing of face masks was in line with COVID-19 protocol designed to guarantee the safety and well-being of everyone.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, who also doubles as a member of the committee, quoted the commissioner as saying that the guidelines put in place by the state on how to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus are for the benefit of the people.
Olatubosun urged residents of Igbeti and Kisi in Olorunsogo and Irepo Local Government Areas of the state to ensure that they maintain physical distance, adhere to restrictions on religious worship, ensure the washing of hands and use of sanitisers as well as ensure the constant use of nose masks.
While speaking at the palace of the Onigbeti of Igbeti, Oba Emmanuel Oyekan Oyebisi, the commissioner explained that the state government led by Governor Seyi Makinde “believes in the welfare and good health of every resident of the state.”
He explained that over one million face masks have been produced by the state’s Covid-19 Task Force and that they are already being distributed to the residents of the state for free, adding that thousands of the masks have been distributed.
He added that the distribution was still going on in all the local governments of the state.
He said: “We are here to continue the state-wide sensitization drive on how we all can play our part in containing the spread of the COVID-19.
This pandemic has put the entire world at a standstill and our dear state has also been affected.
“But our governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, places great importance on the welfare, wellbeing and good health of the people.
This is why the Task Force under his able leadership has made it a responsibility to touch every area in the state to enlighten the people on the roles they can play to stop the virus in our state.
“Though there have been messages on various media platforms, it behoves on the government to move from streets, villages, towns and cities in the state to sensitize the residents on the need to take precautions given by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).”
Olatubosun told the Onigbeti-in-Council, community leaders, market men and women as well as representatives of various organizations to spread the message of containing the COVID-19, adding that the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force will soon enforce the compulsory wearing of the nose masks.
He maintained that erring individuals would be prosecuted and fined N20, 000.00 per person.
Similarly, while speaking at the palace of the Iba of Kisi, Oba Moshood Oyekola Lawal, Olatubosun said the that the level of compliance on nose covering was low.
He said, “When I entered Kisi land, I discovered that the level of compliance on wearing of nose masks was very low.
“I urge all the security agencies to join hands with traditional rulers with a view to combating the virus.”
In his response, Oba Moshood Oyekola Lawal vowed that he, together with government and security agencies would ensure that people abide by the precautions of the government and its agencies.
Sensitizing the people in Oja Oba and Kara Markets in Igbeti and Kisi respectively, a member of the Nigeria Red Cross Society, representing the Risk Communication Pillar of the Emergency Operation Centre of the state, Mrs Adekunbi Oladipo, urged people to abide by the laid down precautions.