Akwa Ibom State Government has given marching orders to security operatives in the state for enforcement of the directives on Curfew commencing in the state from Monday, 4th May 2020 by 8pm, as well as the compulsory wearing of face-masks by all in public places, including road transport commuters as well as sellers and buyers in markets across the state.
The Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem handed down the order at Akpan Isemin Hall, Government House, Uyo while in a Briefing session with the Task force on the Restriction of Movement Regulations 2020 as well as Service Commanders in the State.
He said, with the relaxed Restriction on movements as recently enunciated by the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel which in parts necessitated the Curfew from 8pm to 6pm, with effect from Today, it has become expedient for Security operatives to keep alert and alive to the enforcement of the directives to ward off inter and intra-state illegalities and nefarious activities during the time frame.
Dr. Ekuwem who said government is bent on the safety of lives and property of the state in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic urged the Security operatives to ensure that all road users including officers of the law at checkpoints use facemasks while all offenders should be sanctioned.
The Secretary to State Government emphasized that, government is not ready to negotiate with the law enforcement officers for the release of any Government official or government contractors who violates the directive on Curfew and enjoined all residents of the state to ensure that, they return to their houses before 8pm apart from those working in the COVID-19 incident management committee who hold daily review meetings at night.
Reiterating that, the safety of all Akwa Ibom people is paramount, the State scribe disclosed that, government through the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs is to distribute facemasks to the poorest of the poor in communities across the state using Local Government Chairmen and Village heads while Town criers are also to be enlisted in public enlightenment at the grass-roots.
Dr. Ekuwem who mandated the SA on Trade, Mr. Idorenyin Raphael to ensure the use of facemasks by all traders and buyers as they enter the market on the three designated days of Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, said government will distribute facemasks to traders through the traders unions.
Hammering on the directive on not more than 3 passengers in tricycles and Taxis as well as not more than 2 passengers on each row of a bus, all in facemasks and in keeping with the directive on social distancing, the SSG urged the Ministry of Transport and Petroleum to interface with transporters in the state to drum home the order in that regard.
While stressing that all hospitality services, Plazas and recreational outlets remain close, the SSG reiterated that the ban on churches, mosques, social gathering of any sort is still in force and advised that enlightenment be heightened to keep the public fully aware of the import of the directives using the local dialects.
Responding, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Imohimi Edgal expressed appreciation to the State Government for deeming it necessary to put the facts straight on the curfew and other measures towards enhancing the operations of the Security apparatuses in the enforcement of all directives towards the fight against COVID 19 pandemic in the state.
The CP enjoined all residents of the state at all levels to be be alive to the set rules and regulations as the law enforcement operatives will not spare anybody irrespective of class or status.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of facemasks to all Law enforcement agencies in the state through the State Commissioner of Police and Chairman of the Task Force on restriction of movements regulations 2020, CP
Imohimi Edgal by the Secretary to State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem.
Present at the occasion were the Commissioner of Information, Sir Charles Udoh, the SA on Security, Captain Iniobong Ekong as well as Service Commanders and representatives from Customs, Immigration, FRSC, DSS, NSCDC, the Police Force, HSA-S and SBD.