Abiodun Threatens To Shut Down Okada Business, Other Over COVID-19 - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Friday, June 19, 2020

Abiodun Threatens To Shut Down Okada Business, Other Over COVID-19

                        • A pack of Okada ridders 

The Daily Crucible

Governor Dapo Abiodun on Friday threatened to shut down okada transport business in Ogun State and send the operators packing if they keep breaking the law and guidelines put in place to flatten COVID-19 curve in the State.

Abiodun reiterated that one passenger per a motorcycle was still allowed for commercial motorcycle operators, saying that they have been observed breaking the regulation but warned that his administration would not hesitate to ban them if they keep putting the resolve of the state government to further test.

The Governor who spoke at the Oke - Mosan Governor's Office, Abeokuta, while addressing reporters in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, also threatened to arrest and prosecute operators of sports viewing centres and their patronizers if they would not abide by the social distancing rules.

He lamented the increasing cases of COVID - 19, disclosing that  as of Monday this week,  Ogun had recorded a total of 586 positive cases as against a total number of 316 on the 4th of June, which represents an increase of 270 or over 85% in just 14 days. 

He noted that the number of cases recorded from first index case on 27th  Feb to 4th June – a period of 98 days – had almost doubled in just 14 days while a cumulative total of 315 patients have also  been successfully treated and discharged.

He also suspended the planned reopening of religious centres in the state, citing the compliance level of residents and citizens of the state which, he said, was still very much below expectation and the doubling of the infection rate as part of the reasons for the decision.

He said that community transmission was still  on the increase, regretting also that in spite of the spirited efforts of the government to create awareness about the deadly nature of the pandemic and the guidelines put in place to flatten its curve, the compliance level of residents and citizens remained very much below expectation.

And fielding questions from reporters, Abiodun threatened to arrest operators of sports viewing centres and patronizers if they were found to be compromising the safety and health of people by their activities.

Abiodun said:"After a careful review of the data, feedback from the field, expert opinions, and lessons from far and near, two major conclusions are very clear and obvious to all: first, the COVID-19 situation in Ogun State and indeed in the country as a whole has not improved since the last update.

"And there are dire consequences in loss of human lives for premature relaxation of the guidelines, necessitating a rollback of the relaxation in a number of states and countries. Unfortunately, guidelines may be rolled back, the lost human lives cannot be rolled back.

"We are confronted with two choices – yield to the demand of those who want the restrictions to be further relaxed or even completely removed, even if this is at variance with the dictates of incontrovertible data analysis and scientific opinion; or tow the path that preserves public health and safety, even if not so popular. 

"As a responsible Administration, we choose life and the wellbeing of our citizens and aretherefore constrained to take the painful but necessary decision to maintain the current regime of eased lockdown in the meantime. We are consequently suspending our initially slated reopening of places of worship.

"We are consequently suspending our initially slated reopening of places of worship. Let me thank some of our religious leaders who by themselves advised us that this is the best decision that we should take at this time in the best interest of all of us. 

"This is not an easy decision, but we are confident that the wisdom and scientific basis for this decision will become clearer to those who may have initial misgivings about it. Since the advent of this pandemic in our State, our cautious, methodical, data-driven and scientifically supported approach has ensured not only comparably superior outcomes, we have also not had reasons to reverse our decisions, because our decisions are usually well thought out.

  "For clarity, the existing guidelines to combat COVID-19 in the State that will continue in the meantime. All 5 working days in the week (Monday to Friday) are still opened for businesses and other economic transactions with only Saturday and Sunday as lockdown days; Observation of dusk-to-dawn curfew as directed by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) i.e. between 10.00pm and 4.00am daily.

"Restrictions on Interstate travel are still in force; Wearing of face masks in the public is still mandatory; Only one passenger is still allowed for motorcycles and two passengers only for tricycles. We observed that Okada motorcycles are breaking this law and we will not hesitate to ban all Okada motorcycles from operating in our State if our resolve is further put to test.

"Taxi cabs and buses still have 60% limitation on their carrying capacity and the measure to arrest and impound any driver that contravenes this in our State is still in force; The COVID-19 Task Force in markets must continue to ensure physical distancing, availability of hand washing facilities, and use of gloves and facemasks for traders; Decontamination will continue in our markets and other public places; Limitation of all gatherings to a maximum number of 20, is still in effect."

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