Lalong firms up commitment to managing COVID-19 and sustaining peace in Plateau State
Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State has obviated threats to deviate peace in Plateau State as the state government unfolded tactics to counter the spread of the dreaded coronavirus disease, a pandemic with more than 785,897 already affected globally in over 180 countries.
Taking precautionary measures and help reduce the continued spread COVID-19, the Plateau State government has announced a number of measures including restriction of movements, ban on social and religious gathering with more than 50 persons in attendance.
The directive also ordered all public servants in Plateau State from levels 12 and below are to work from home for the next 30 days; while all market activities have been partially shut down. Only traders selling food items, pharmaceuticals and cooking gas are exempted, and workers on essential services such as security, media, health, street cleaners and water supply and energy are exempted from the restrictions.
A taskforce is already in place charged with enforcement and monitoring of the restrictions.
In addition, the taskforce is to oversee, evaluate and review developments of the disease in the state.
However, the restriction order was last Friday disregarded by the spiritual leader of Jammaatu Izalatil Bida Waikamatis Sunnah, Sheikh Sani Yahaya Jingir, to the dismay of stakeholders in and outside the state.
For many, Sheikh Jingirs performance of the Friday congregational prayer despite an order restricting gatherings of more than 50 persons from the federal and state governments could clearly have subvert the safety measures against the spread of COVID-19 and potentially sabotage the peace of the state.
It was clear that the Sheik had gone against federal laws and also undermined the regulation for public safety by the Plateau State government.
Lalong moves to curtail threat to peace and public safety:
A firm Governor Lalong had moved to curb potential threat to peace and public safety. This week, Sheikh Jingir had expressed regret over the incidence and pledged his continuous support for peace and willingness to join the government to fight the coronavirus.
While many would have desired an immediate arrest of the offending Sheik which may further disturb the peace, Governor Lalong opted to have a more practicable approach at addressing the issues. “We don’t want any public disorder and we don’t want anything to divert attention from the greater enemy of COVID-19”, said a senior official of Plateau State with knowledge of the matter.
Plateau launches Situation Room, deploys technology to subdue COVID-19:
Meanwhile Plateau State has set up a Situation Room to monitor, evaluate and adopt all measures as may be necessary to slow down or tame COVID-19 in the state. Part of the objectives of the Situation Room is to create public awareness on the coronavirus and work with all stakeholders including the state taskforce to fight the spread of COVID-19.
The state has unveiled a COVID-19 technology platform to report incidence of coronavirus cases, evaluate field reports, provide information on index and contact tracing as well as provide first rate information on COVID-19 trends locally, nationally and globally so as to prevent panic and allow citizens and government make informed decisions.
Also, the state has deployed officials on its major highways to take saliva sample of travellers for test and possible feedback on the outcomes.