OYO State Government has expressed readiness to halt influx of people into the state from other states of the federation to further prevent spread COVID-19.
The Information and Risk Communication Sub-Committee of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force stated this on Tuesday, during a sensitisation campaign in border towns within the five local governments areas in Ogbomoso land.
The state’s Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Wasiu Olatubosun, who led the campaign team, told border town residents that the state government is determined to stop the influx defiant Nigerians who have been violating the nationwide restriction on interstate movement.
Dr Olatubosun, in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa, said the state government would leave no stone unturned to ensure that its border towns were effectively secured.
The team, according to the statement, embarked on house-to-house sensitisation of residents of various communities in Ogbomoso land on how to prevent the novel coronavirus.
The committee noted that observing hygienic practices, physical distancing and avoiding harbouring travellers from other countries or neighbouring states without first reporting them to the government authorities are important steps towards guarding against the virus.
The commissioner and his team members, who monitored inter–state lockdown compliance at Oki, Oko, Otee and Ijado towns, which share boundaries with Osun and Kwara States respectively, decried the low level of compliance with the inter–state lockdown directive in the communities.
Dr Olatubosun admonished residents of the respective communities to cooperate with security personnel in manning the borders; adding that the state government would take all necessary measures to block all the illegal boundary routes that motorists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are plying to enter Oyo State from Osun and Kwara States, including the international borders.
He also called on the Government of Osun and Kwara States to put strict measures in place at their respective borders as a way of enforcing total compliance with the Inter–State movement restriction directive.
Speaking at the palaces of the Alapa of Oki town, Prof. John Akintola and the Oloko of Oko town, Dr Solomon Akinola, the commissioner sought the cooperation of the traditional rulers to prevail on their subjects to abide with the movement restriction at the Borders.
Dr Olatubosun further urged the traditional rulers to deploy local hunters to the illegal routes created in the border communities as a way of enhancing the job of the conventional security operatives that were manning major boundary borders.
He intimated the residents to take their personal hygiene serious, abide with physical distancing, regular hand washing with soap, use of sanitisers and facemasks in public places, while also imploring the residents of the various border towns and villages not to hesitate to report to government the arrival of any person into their respective communities.
Earlier, the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Surulere Local Government Area, Mr Salawu Olayinka, briefed the commissioner and the sub-committee members on the challenges facing his personnel at the border posts in the area.
In their separate responses, the royal fathers commended the administration of Governor Makinde for its proactive measures in combating the spread of coronavirus across the state, promising to continue supporting all government efforts at curbing the spread of the virus in their respective communities.
Facemasks and hand sanitisers were later given to the traditional rulers for onward distribution to their respective subjects, while Dr Olatubosun also distributed facemasks to residents on the streets of Oko, Oki, Ijado and Otee towns.
Meanwhile, Oyo State Government has impounded 67 articulated vehicles conveying non-essential goods and travellers from the northern part of the country into the state.
Chairman, Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA), Dr Akin Fagbemi, stated this on Tuesday, at the agency’s headquarters, Ibadan, pointing out that they were smuggled under the pretence of trading.
The chairman explained that the 67 trucks were apprehended based on intelligence reports.
Dr Fagbemi equally revealed that six fake OYRTMA officers using the name of the agency to defraud unsuspecting members of the public have been arrested and handed over to the police for investigation.
The OYRTMA boss warned those flouting the inter-state lockdown directive to desist or face sanctions.