COVID19 ABIA UPDATE: GOVERNMENT SET TO SEAL CHURCHES, ARREST PASTORS, LOCKDOWN, CURFEW
Abia State Government expresses displeasure over non-compliance with the lockdown directives by some Abians and residents in the State. It has also come to the notice of the State government that some religious bodies still hold service in total disregard to the subsisting directive. In this regard, government will not hesitate to seal such churches and also prosecute the leadership of the defaulting churches.
In addition to the extended lockdown in the State, Government has directed dusk to dawn curfew from 6pm to 6am daily effective from April 26, 2020. The dusk to dawn curfew imposed in the state is to further emphasize the need for Abians to stay safe at home. During the curfew, government will not entertain any form of exemption, except for our medical experts and judicial officers working with the Mobile Courts.
Attention of Government has also been drawn to a purported lockdown Time-table being circulated in the media. Government wishes to inform Abians that the said document is false and fictitious.
All Executive Council Members are hereby coopted as members of the Enforcement Team in their various Local Government Area and must function as such. Honorable Commissioners and Transition Committee Chairmen are to enforce the lockdown and curfew as they would be held accountable for any lapses or compromise in their respective LGAs.
As part of efforts to continue to cushion the effect of the lockdown, Abia State Government has taken delivery of 1,800 bags of rice from Federal Government of Nigeria while arrangement has been concluded to pick up a truck of tinned tomatoes also from Federal Government. Contrary to speculations, government certifies that the rice received from Federal Government are good for consumption but wishes to state that OSIKAPA ABIA is still of better quality.
Distribution of palliatives by Abia State Government continues. The next phase shall be for the 17LGAs authorities, down to their various communities and across party lines. The Local Government Chairmen are to constitute committees at their various Local Government for distribution of the palliative to their various communities. Members of the committee must include, Honorable Commissioner in their area, Representative of CAN, Civil society, President-General of the Town Unions, Women leaders and the media.
Similarly, government will extend distribution of palliatives to residents in Abia from Imo, Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi States and artisans.
Keke operators in the State are by this medium warned to desist from plying our roads in defiance of the current lockdown order as government has concluded plans to apprehend, impound and prosecute any offender. In the same vein, all the Eateries must remain closed during the lockdown.
Government appreciates once again the efforts of all Security agents, State/Local Government Enforcement teams, our frontline providers including our Medical and surveillance Teams and the Press.
Finally, Government urges Abians to support and obey the lockdown/curfew in the State.
Barr. Chris Ezem
Secretary to Abia State Government/Chairman, Inter-Ministerial Committee on Covid-19