HIGHLIGHTS FROM HIS EXCELLENCY, RT. HON. (DR) SIMON BAKO LALONG, EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE AT THE FLAG-OFF OF THE PLATEAU STATE FUMIGATION EXERCISE, HELD AT THE TERMINUS ROUND ABOUT, JOS ON 10TH APRIL 2020.
1. We are gathered here in continuation of our efforts at fighting the Corona Virus Pandemic that is ravaging the world and continues to spread in Nigeria.
2. Our mission here is to begin the fumigation of the entire State against the Corona Virus Disease.
3. Since the outbreak of the disease, our Government has taken several steps aimed at ensuring that the disease does not come into the State.
4. We have also been preparing in the unfortunate event if any case is recorded in Plateau State so that we can respond appropriately.
5. Although no case has been recorded yet in Plateau State as at today, we cannot relax. We have to remain vigilant and proactive.
6. That is why we announced a total lockdown of the State, which began some hours ago.
7. During this period, the entire State will be fumigated. [All Public places such as markets, Streets, Office Premises among others will be fumigated]
8. I call on all our citizens to stay at home in line with the directive we have issued in order to achieve the aim of this exercise.
9. In addition to the fumigation, the lockdown will also help us reduce any tendency for inter-State transfer of the disease and enable us respond appropriately to any suspected case and contact tracing.
10. We shall be getting a Testing Centre here in Plateau State in the coming days, which will also boost our capacity to identify any case faster.
11. These are difficult and unusual times for not only Plateau State, but also the world at large.
12. Ordinarily, we should not be doing an event like this on a Good Friday, but the times warrant this and we continue to appeal for the patience and understanding of our citizens.
13. For our Christian brothers and sisters, let us use this Solemn Easter Friday to cry unto God within our homes to show us mercy and remove this pandemic.
14. Like Archbishop Jose Gomez, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said, “Our Churches may be closed, but Christ is not quarantined and his Gospel is not in chains. Even though we cannot worship together, each of us can seek God in the tabernacles of our hearts”.
15. Similarly, our Muslim brethren should also use this day to offer solemn Zuhur Prayers in their homes for God to intervene and save us from this calamity.
16. I wish to thank our Religious, Traditional, Political and Community Leaders and their followers for their cooperation and understanding during these difficult times.
17. Let me again appeal to all citizens to abide by the lockdown directive in order to make the work of law enforcement officers easier. We do not want to hear of ugly cases of harsh enforcement.
18. With God on our side, this situation will not last long and very soon, we shall bounce back and resume normal life. All we need is patience and prayers.
19. Government will soon roll out palliative measures to assist the weak and vulnerable amongst us.
20. On this Special Good Friday, may the Lord answer our prayers and reveal the essence of His sacrifice for mankind.
21. On this note, I have the honour to officially flag off the fumigation of Plateau State to the glory of God and for the defeat of Covid-19 and good health of the citizens of Plateau State.
22. Thank You.
Rt. Hon. (Dr) Simon Bako Lalong, KSGG
Executive Governor, Plateau State.
10th April 2020.