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COVID-19 lockdown: Abia Govt talks tough, moves to sanction defaulters

COVID-19 lockdown: Abia Govt talks tough, moves to sanction defaulters

The Abia State Government has noted with dismay the outright disobedience to the lockdown order by members of various transport unions in the state.

Simple Tune recalls that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu had directed closure of land borders and restriction of vehicular movements, exempting people in essential duties, as parts of precautionary measures taken by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

However, in a press release signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Barrister Chris Ezem, and made available to reporters in Umuahia on Wednesday, the government warned that it would not hesitate to dissolve and prosecute any transport union that contravenes the directive.

It directed the executives of all transport and tricycle unions in the state to ensure strict compliance of the COVID-19 lockdown among their members.

According to the statement, “Consequently, executives of NURTW, NATO, RETAN, Cooperatives, SATOA, ATRIWA and TOAN are by this announcement directed to ensure strict compliance by members to the said Government Order.

“All the parks of the above unions are to remain closed during the lockdown period. Government also directs that any association or park that violates the said order should be shut down and the heads of such association and/or park prosecuted accordingly”.

The Abia Government, therefore, directed security agencies and Enforcement teams to apprehend and prosecute defaulters of this lockdown order.

In a similar development, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has directed the State Ministry of Homeland Security to ensure total lockdown of all entry and exit points into Abia State.

The governor advised all Abians, motorists and pedestrians to stay clear of all entry and exit boundary points, henceforth, in total compliance with the Executive Order of the Governor.

The directive was made known in a press release signed by the Commissioner for Homeland Security, Prince Dan Okoli and forwarded to our correspondent on Wednesday night.

According to the release, “The Ministry of Homeland Security has deployed its personnel to mann all the borders and will arrest and handover any defaulter of such a directive for immediate prosecution.

“Citizens are therefore advised to stay clear of the borders and abide by the lockdown directive as even the Federal Government of Nigeria is on the same page with respective states on the lock down.

“The release therefore allows only those on exemption and essential duty which include, properly identified food items haulages, petroleum product tankers, medical and pharmaceutical products, journalists and communication company staff and security personnel on duty.”

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