The Kwara State Government on Sunday clarified that vehicular movements are restricted only to trucks ferrying foods and drugs, saying private and other commercial vehicles are barred and risk being arrested and prosecuted if found on the road.
Mr. Kayode Alabi, Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Kwara State Technical Committee, told a news briefing in Ilorin that the government is displeased with people violating the no-movement directive which he said had been pronounced to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.
Alabi who was flanked by security service commanders in the state and other top government officials during the briefing said the markets in the state remain open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 8a.m. and 12noon but residents are to walk down to markets in their neighbourhood without using vehicles.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all our markets remain open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between the hours of 8a.m. and 12noon for people to restock food and other essentials.
“But there shall be no vehicular movements of any kind except for those on essential duties and trucks conveying foods and drugs and associated services earlier exempted. For emphasis, Okada, Keke Napep, taxi, private vehicles and other vehicular movements are disallowed.
“People are to patronise only markets nearer to their places of residence. Movements to the markets shall be by foot.
“Anyone caught violating these regulations will be prosecuted in the mobile courts and sanctioned accordingly. People are to note that convictions at this mobile courts carries the same consequences as other judicial convictions,” he said.
Alabi recalled that the state had recorded five new COVID-19 cases, bringing the tally to nine confirmed cases.
In his words, “Two days ago, our state recorded five new cases of COVID-19. That means Kwara now has a total of nine confirmed cases. Of these, two have recovered and have since been discharged. All the five new cases were contacts from our previous cases. They had been in self isolation from where their samples were taken. As we speak, our hardworking rapid response team have since started aggressive contact tracing of persons who have had contacts with them. This is to prevent community transmission of the disease and put us in firm control of the situation.
“The truth is that we are in a dire situation. Drastic measures, as we have taken, are required to urgently contain the spread of this virus before it kills everyone or brings down human civilisation as it is threatening to do. Our best shot is to stay at home, maintain physical distancing, constantly wash our hands, and practice good coughing or sneezing etiquette, among other safety protocols.”
The briefing was attended by all the service commanders in the state.
Commissioner of Police Kayode Egbetokun, who spoke on behalf of the commanders, said the security agencies have so far focused on enforcement of the directive of the government on movement, adding: “Going forward, anyone who is caught violating the no-movement directive will be arrested and prosecuted in the mobile courts.”
Egbetokun observed that the directives were in the interest of the people and said security agencies would ensure that those directives are implemented to the letter to save lives.