FG Reviews Curfew; Oyo Cancels Restriction, Tasks People on COVID-19 Protocols

National Coordinator, Presidencial Task Force on COVID-19 in Nigeria, Sani Aliyu

The President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government and Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, have sharply disagreed over the imposition of nationwide curfew to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

While the Federal Government on Thursday struggled to review the nationwide curfew from 10pm-4am to 12am-4am, Makinde announced the total cancellation of human and vehicular restrictions in the state, saying “the curfew was abolished after a series of review of the situation.”

Speaking on behalf of the Federal Government, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, announced that henceforth both human and vehicular movements were expected to be restricted between 12am and 4am.

“I will first of all start with general movement. We are modifying the curfew to commence from 12 midnight to 4am nationwide, effective from 12:00 tonight (Thursday).

“This does not apply to people on essential services and international travellers that might be returning from abroad,” Aliyu said during a briefing at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja.

The Federal Government had imposed a nationwide curfew on May 4, 2020 from 6pm to 8am, but later reviewed it from 10pm to 4am on June 1.

However in Oyo State, Makinde on Thursday said there’s no more prohibition of people’s movements.

File photo of Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.

The governor, in statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, advised residents of the state to continue to comply with the COVID-19 protocols, adding that “the cancellation of the curfew did not mean Coronavirus has disappeared completely.”

Makinde directed the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) not to relent in data gathering and analysis in order to appropriately situate the context of the virus within the state.

The governor, besides, approved the conversion of Aawe Isolation Centre to a Level 3 Primary Health Care Centre, directing that the facility should be decontaminated and handed over to the Hospital Management Board.

Makinde’s administration has also approved that except for the Infectious Disease Centre, Olodo in Ibadan, other isolation centres in the state could be converted to Level 3 PHC.

But, the governor said “whenever a spike in COVID-19 cases is noticed in the location where any of the facility is situated, such a facility will be re-converted as an isolation centre or a part of it will be so utilised as an isolation centre.”

Idowu Sowunmi