Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has called for collaboration of all residents and stakeholders in the state, as the state government intensifies efforts to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Obaseki said this when he met separately with religious and traditional leaders at the Government House, in Benin City.

Key issues discussed at the meetings include the state government’s steps to ward off the coronavirus pandemic; plans by government to cope with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and other sundry matters.

Members of the Edo State Traditional Council were led to the Government House by his Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II. Others are Vice Chairman of the Council and Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Aliru Momoh and the 2nd Vice Chairman of the council and Enogie of Opoji, His Royal Highness Aidenojie Ehidiamen.

Present at the meeting with religious leaders were Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Edo State Chapter, Oriname Oyenude; President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Felix Omobude; ECWA/TEKAN Chairman, Rev. Lucky Osagbokhoe; President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin, Augustine Akubeze,; Chief Imam of the Benin Central Mosque, Alhaji Fatai Enabulele and Chairman OAIC, Apostle General Irekpono Omoike, among others.

Top government functionaries in the meeting include Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Taiwo Akerele; Commissioner for Local Government and Community Matters, Hon. Monday Osaigbovo, and Special Adviser to the Governor on Political and Community Matters, Hon. Osaro Idah.

The governor urged the leaders to share best practices on how to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus with their community, noting that the state government was well prepared to ward off the virus.

Obaseki said, “I just arrived from Abuja for the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, which was mainly devoted to national response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently ravaging the world.

“I know that as groups, associations and religious bodies, it is an issue you are all concerned about. I know you had been praying and developed your own responses as we agreed; it is quite helpful that in a situation like this we all have a common front.”

The governor continued, “Though we all trying our individual best with responses but we can have a higher success in dealing with the challenge if we work together, as this is a public health issue. It has been reported that we have never had such kind of a challenge in this century and because of globalization, it has now created even greater economic problems.

“It’s how we as a state responds to this issue that matters. What are immediate steps to contain the spread of the virus by our leaders? As a government, we have a lot of respect and adoration for our leaders. I don’t think it is appropriate to sit in the council or with my cabinet, take decisions and ditch it out to you; we felt that the best way to buy in our citizens is to call you to seek your own views on this issue that has affected our economy.”