Govt Reintroduces Curfew, COVID-19 Restrictions
The Federal Government has reintroduced all control measures aimed at mitigating the impact of the deadly scourge.
Consequently, the Presidential Steering Committee PSC on COVID-19 has reimposed the nationwide curfew earlier put in place to control the spread of the virus. It has also limited gatherings especially in enclosed spaces to a maximum of 50 persons, urging state governments to inaugurate mobile courts to try offenders.
At a media briefing on Monday in Abuja, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation ( SGF) and Chairman of the PSC, Mr Boss Mustapha said the committee had also considered several pre-emptive measures to be taken to mitigate the likely impact of the variants of concern, should they get imported into Nigeria.
“Accordingly, the PSC has produced a new Implementation Guidelines being Phase IV of our Eased Restrictions of COVID-19 Lockdown in the country.
“This step has become compelling in view of the fragile state of our health systems, the disruption to the vaccines delivery and the lack of compliance with the extant public health measures and social measures contained in the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021.
“The PSC has therefore considered it imperative to re-institute the various public health measures that were put in place under the Health Protection Regulations.
“In taking this step, the PSC requests the State Governments to please step up to play lead roles in the area of enforcement and sanctions. Similarly, our appeal goes to traditional, religious and community leaders to take up more ownership and responsibility for risk communication and community engagement on the virulent nature of the pandemic, concerns over the variants of concern and the need for compliance”, the SGF stated.
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He added that the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government had fixed the cost of COVID-19 testing, whether PCR or otherwise, at $50 (Fifty US Dollars) at all Points of Entry with effect from 17th May 2021.
The decision, he said, was to ease travel and trade among citizens of ECOWAS States travelling within the region.
PSC’s Head of Technical Secretariat, Dr Mukhtar Mohammed said persons without facemasks would no longer be allowed into government institutions while it directed security agencies to enforce the use of such masks and other non-pharmaceutical interventions in the transportation sector.
Most government meetings are also now held virtually while only essential international travels are encouraged and that all protocols must be adhered to.
Mohammed was however emphatic that there were no restrictions on intra-state travels.
“The PSC continues to reinforce the surveillance system at the country’s points of entry. While our vaccine rollout has begun, there is a shortage in global supplies affected by the current situation in India. This translates to a delay in vaccinating a large proportion of the population and therefore a risk of a large outbreak especially in the context of poor adherence to the recommended public health and social measures.
“The level of adherence to the use of facemask, physical distancing, temperature checks in public spaces, handwashing and limits on large gatherings remain very poor. In some areas, these are even nonexistent.
“In line with the increasing risk of a surge in cases, the PSC is therefore maintaining the enforcement of the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations. This is to mitigate the risk of a spike in new cases while the nationwide vaccine rollout continues.
“Further to these recommendations and effective from 0001hours of Tuesday, 11th May 2021, this Phase 4 of the phased restriction of movement shall come into effect.
We shall maintain restrictions in mass gatherings outside work settings with a maximum number of 50 people in an enclosed space.
Approved gatherings must be held with physical distancing measures and other non-pharmaceutical interventions in place.
Enforcement of a mandatory requirement of a seven-day quarantine for all international passengers arriving from foreign destinations while institutional quarantine for international passengers arriving from the three countries of India, Brazil and Turkey.
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“Enforced temperature checks and no mask, no entry policy in all public settings; workplace buildings, businesses and places of worship etc. Access to government and commercial premises should be denied to persons without facemasks.
“The nationwide curfew will be imposed tonight at midnight and it will run through till 4 am. No formal restrictions on movement within the country even as citizens are encouraged to refrain from non-essential movements and comply with all non-pharmaceutical interventions and guidelines. People who are above 60 and or with comorbidities are encouraged to stay at home. Only essential international travels are encouraged”, Mohammed added.
He said while hotels are to remain open, they should adhere to all non-pharmaceutical interventions while schools are to deploy the use of antigen-based rapid tests as recommended in the guidelines by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC. Mohammed added that all indoor recreational facilities and gyms are to close until 11th June 2021 when the situation will be reviewed.
“However, non-contact outdoor sports such as gulf, Polo, tennis etc are not affected”.The PSC said it has received reports of some returning foreign passengers who violated the mandatory quarantine requirement under the advisory by escaping from the facilities.
“We deprecate such violation of the laws of our land and our hospitality. The PSC is awaiting the report of ongoing investigations and we wish to assure Nigerians that appropriate sanctions would be imposed on the violators”, said Mustapha.
He said closely associated with the control measures is the issue of vaccine access and administration. According to him, given the challenge of vaccine nationalism compounded by the production situation in India, the PSC is exploring other options to get Nigerians vaccinated.
“As of date, 1,690,719 persons have received their first dose of the vaccine in Nigeria representing 84% of the targeted persons for this phase. We appeal to states, especially those high burden areas, to push ahead with the vaccination programme.”
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Robbers Loot N30m Goods At Ikota Shopping Complex
. Owners Report Security Firm To Police
For about two decades, Dr. Helen O. Eto, CEO, Superior Mobile Investment Ltd and iClick Gadgets, has been doing business peacefully at Ikota Shopping Complex which borders Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lekki Peninsula, Lagos. The shopping facility is run by HFP Engineering Ltd.
However, robbers struck at the complex that has about 1,850 shops in the early hours of March 7th, 2023. Finesse Security Ltd guards claimed that they forgot to lock the gate of the facility, allowing the hoodlums to cart away about N30 million phones and other goods from Mrs. Eto’s freshly restocked shop.
Lamentingher ordeal to the police in Ajah and Panti, Yaba, Mrs. Eto said : “We took bank loans for the business plus our life savings all of which are gone. This is a wicked plan against us in our old age with children still in school, other dependants and various bills.
“We plead that the police should help us to get to the bottom of the looting to save us from early deaths as our BPs have shot up sharply because this is our main source of livelihood. A list of the goods looted from the shop was/is attached to my statements at Ajah Police Station and SIB, Yaba.”
Omokioja Julius Eto, Chairman, Editorial Board of The Daily Times and a media consultant, corroborated his wife’s account. Eto, a former Associate Editor of The Guardian and Editor-in-Chief of The Trumpet, said: “The robbery is shocking because the security gate is inaccessible even to shop owners at night, our shop is just a stone’s throw from the gate and it would have taken about at least two hours to cut through the shop’s security system.
“This makes us to strongly see the guards as the main suspects. We were not immediately notified by the security firm or the facility managers (HFP) of the robbery which we only got to be aware of at about 8.20am through one of our employees.”
A former Editor of The Daily Times, Eto who has also worked as a senior editor at the Punch and Thisday, added: “Since the break-in on March 7 till today March 30, Finesse Security Ltd has not called to sympathize with us but has been evading our calls and texts to its MD whom we learnt travelled abroad after the robbery.
“We have been doing everything to support the police investigation despite our predicament and hope they will bring the culprits to justice.”
Arrest Interim Govt Plotters Now – Governors
Governors of the 36 states have asked the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest and prosecute those involved in a plot to put in place an interim government as part of moves to truncate the nation’s democracy.
Condemning the move, the governors under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum assured of their commitment to continue in the defence of Nigeria’s democracy as elected leaders.
In a statement on Friday by NGF Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal at the end of the 4th meeting of the Governors, he warned the DSS against issuing statements without arrest as that amounts to heating the polity.
Tambuwal said, “The Forum deliberated extensively on the alleged plot by some unscrupulous elements to install an interim government, as contained in the recent statement issued by the Department for State Services (DSS). Governors condemned in the strongest terms, any unconstitutional means of regime change and pledged its commitment to continue to defend Nigeria’s democracy as elected leaders.
“In addition, the Forum believes that issuing statements without arrests is akin to heating up the polity and causing unwarranted tension in the country. It called on the DSS to do its job by immediately arresting and prosecuting all those involved in the plot as a matter of urgency.”
Recall that the DSS had on Wednesday confirmed rumours that a section of the political class was planning for an interim government in order to truncate the result of the recently-concluded general elections.
The Spokesman for the DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya in a statement said that the agency had identified some key players in the plot for an Interim Government in Nigeria but did not give the names of the masterminds.
The agency had said that the planners of the interim government had already held several meetings, during which they weighed many options to actualize their plot including sponsoring endless mass protests across Nigerian cities, securing a warrant to declare a state of emergency or a court injunction to stop the inauguration of the executive and the legislature at the federal and state levels.
BREAKING:Lagos Govt Arraigns Chrisland School, Principal, Others Over Death Of Pupil Whitney Adeniran
The Lagos State government has arraigned Chrisland School, Opebi, its principal, vice principal and two other employees over the death of one of the school’s pupils, 12-year-old Whitney Adeniran.
On Wednesday, the government of Lagos State had filed charges against Chrisland School and four others over the death of the 12-year-old pupil, Whitney Adeniran.
The school and its workers were accused of involuntary manslaughter and reckless and negligent acts.
The workers who were arraigned before Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja include Ademoye Adewale, Kuku Fatai, Mrs Belinda Amao, Nwatu Ugochi Victoria and Chrisland School Limited.
The school principal, Mrs Belinda Amao, broke down in tears while in the dock as the court and counsel tried to agree on a date for the commencement of the trial.
Whitney died during the school’s inter-house sports competition at Agege Stadium in Lagos on February 9.
Blessing Adeniran, her mother, had accused Chrisland of negligence over her daughter’s death.
The school’s management, however, dismissed insinuations that there was foul play in the death, saying she slumped in public.
Chrisland also argued that Whitney complained about “not-too-buoyant health” a few days before she died.
However, an autopsy conducted at the Lagos State University Hospital (LASUTH) confirmed that the deceased died from “asphyxia and electrocution”.
In the charges filed on behalf of the state government by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Babajide Martins, who disclosed that their negligence killed Whitney because they failed to ensure her safety.
The charge also disclosed that they all acted in a reckless and negligent manner that endangered human life.
The offences are contrary to Sections 224 & 251 of the Criminal Law, C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015
If found guilty, the offences carry a penalty of life imprisonment and two-year jail terms respectively.
On Tuesday, the state government granted access to Chrisland High School, Opebi branch, to open for physical learning ahead of the school’s forthcoming examination after parents’ appeal.
The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had ordered that the school be shut down on March 3, 2023, following the investigation into Whitney’s death.
Sanwo-Olu through the state Ministry of Education said the closure of the school would pave the way for unhindered investigation and afford all stakeholders, including parents, students, staff and friends of the deceased, time to grieve.
The reopening followed an appeal by the Parents of all Chrisland School Units who visited the Ministry of Education on Monday to seek the government’s understanding for “the sake of 500 plus students some of whom also have terminal examinations.”
The management of the school had tendered an apology over Whitney’s death.
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