Kaduna State Government has imposed a curfew following what it called non-compliance to certain measures put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. Hadiza Balarabe, the deputy governor, who made this known on Thursday, March 26, 2020, in the second state broadcast in two days, said that the decision is in line with the 1999 constitution.
She also said churches and mosques will be shut and there will no congregational prayers or services either within the places of worship or outdoors. She warned that any workshop center that violates the order will have its title forfeited and site removed.
According to her, the decision is ‘’in the exercise of the powers vested in the Governor by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, (as amended), Sections 2 and 8 of the Quarantine Act 1926 and the Kaduna State Public Health Law of 1917.’’
Balarabe said Kaduna State has, therefore ‘’been declared a public health area, Coronavirus, otherwise known as Covid-19, is hereby declared as a dangerous, infectious disease within the meaning of the Quarantine Act.’
The Deputy Governor said that State Standing Committee on COVID-19 prevention met on Thursday to review global and national developments relating to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Balarabe: ‘’The Committee also considered reports of unsatisfactory compliance levels with the preventive measures that have been outlined by the government in repeated announcements, and with increasing severity, over the past seven days.’’
Balarabe further said that apart from flouting the directive against large gatherings, ‘’there were also reports of certain persons not obeying the ban announced on motorcycle taxis and ‘Keke-Napep ’tricycles.’’
Deputy Governor Balarabe warned that ‘’from midnight of Thursday, 26th March 2020, all residents of Kaduna State must stay at home. No offices, businesses of any sort of places of worship are allowed to open.’’
The Deputy Governor clarified that ‘’the only category of persons exempted are workers in essential services such as health workers, the fire service and security personnel.’’
She warned that the curfew will be strictly enforced by the security agencies, adding ‘’they have clear directives for the immediate arrest and prosecution of any person who violates these measures.‘’
The deputy governor further warned that weddings, events, and social gatherings are strictly prohibited during the quarantine period and churches and mosques will be shut as well. Congregational prayers and services outdoors and in places of worship are put on hold for quarantine period.
Balarabe said that ‘’any place of worship, event center or place that hosts social gatherings will be in violation of its term of the grant and therefore risks forfeiting its title and having the site of the offense removed.
‘’We recognize that Kaduna State is a transport hub. Therefore, transit through Kaduna will be allowed, provided that such vehicles ply only the Western bye-pass,’’ she clarified.
Balarabe also acknowledged that the lockdown will have consequences for everyone, especially the most vulnerable in the society. To this end she stated ‘’As indicated in previous statements, the government is procuring food and other supplies, funded from its contingency budget, to mitigate the challenges of a lockdown for such persons.
‘‘’These items will be distributed in community clusters across urban local government areas in the state. This will be a grassroots exercise, as it is people drawn from the target community that will constitute the committee to manage the distribution,’’ she explained.
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