The Ekiti state government has imposed a 12-hour curfew on movements within the state, in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Ekiti state.
The curfew will restrict movements on the movement of persons and goods, for an initial period of fourteen days.
Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, made this announcement in a Sunday morning broadcast, which was also disseminated through his Facebook account.
“I hereby, in pursuant to Section 8 of the Quarantine Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) impose a curfew of movement in Ekiti State.
“Therefore, effective from 23H59 (11:59 pm) on Monday, March 30, 2020, until 23H59 (11:59 pm) on Monday, April 13, 2020, there shall be restriction of movement across the length and breadth of Ekiti State, with all our borders closed. That is a full and total shut down of Ekiti State, and 12-hour dusk to dawn curfew in Ekiti State from 7:00 pm – 7:00 am. All Ekiti residents are hereby directed to STAY – AT – HOME,” he declared.
Enforcing the curfew
Every person is to remain confined to his current location as movement between local government areas, towns, villages and communities have been prohibited.
The governor also noted that all land borders have been shut and travellers are expected to remain in their current locations for the duration. Only vehicles bringing in fuel, foods, drugs and other essentials will be allowed into the state.
All means of public transportation including bus services, taxi services, motorbikes (Okada) and tricycle services (Keke), are covered by this ban as well, with the exception of those rendering essential services, and these exceptions are expected to maintain the highest level of hygiene and keep to social distancing.
Only essential service providers are exempted, and they would be expected to move about with an identity card issued by their institutions. Listing out the of food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, medicine, paper and plastic packages, first responders, banks and financial institutions, and security agencies. All other businesses and entities are expected to be shut down.
By this directive, all forms of religious, social or political gatherings have also been banned, as churches, mosques, night clubs, and bars are expected to be locked down for the period. Where any gathering is to be held out of necessity, attendance will be restricted to 20 persons.
Fayemi added that defaulters would be sanctioned with heavy fines or 6 months imprisonment
“Any person who contravenes these regulations shall be guilty of an offence and, on conviction, liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment” the governor stated.
Governor Fayemi noted that it would be a great discomfort but urged the residents of the state to adhere to it in order to stay healthy and alive.
To make the period easier for citizens, the government introduced certain palliatives including an advance payment of March 2020 salaries to civil servants, and reactivation of the Ekiti State Food Bank to provide food items to the poor and vulnerable families in Ekiti state.
“The State Government will consider providing a stipend to our self-employed citizens whose daily income will be interrupted at this time as subsidy for their loss of income. I have directed the Commissioners of Finance and Budget to advise on the amount the State can afford in view of our dire financial constraints.
“This was despite the fact that the FAAC disbursement for March was significantly lower than our salaries and many other states have found it difficult to pay March salaries. We are however hopeful that subsequent months will not fail, though the implications of the global economy are not very encouraging as IMF formally announced that the world is now in recession due to the coronavirus pandemic” he said.
He encouraged the people not to panic or spread rumours but to adhere to the directives so that the pandemic could come to an end very soon.
“Government is determined to ensure we stop its spread. You also must be determined to do your part,” he added.