Northwest Governors Take Action against Coronavirus, Order Closure of Schools

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Aminu Bello Masari

By John Shiklam

Governors of the seven northwest states, namely Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara have agreed on joint measures, including the closure of schools, to protect their citizens from the likely impact of Covid-19.

This was contained in a communique issued at the end of their meeting on Wednesday at the Government House, Kaduna.

The northwest governors as well well as governors of Niger and Kwara states which share boundaries with the zone, also “resolved to jointly fund security operations aimed at conclusively addressing the security challenges” bedeviling their various states.

The communique signed by the chairman of Northwest Governors Forum who is also the governor of Katsina state, Hon. Aminu Masari said, “measures shall be taken by each of the states, in consultation with the national examination bodies, to close schools for a period of 30 days, starting from Monday, 23rd March 2020.”

The communique said “sensitisation campaigns to discourage large gatherings until further notice” shall be initiated while “states will continue to wage aggressive campaigns to encourage citizens to uphold personal hygiene, including hand washing and environmental sanitation.”

According to the communique “governors of states in the Northwest geopolitical zone, Kwara and Niger states today met in Kaduna to review the security situation in their areas and to agree on joint responses to the coronavirus pandemic.”

The governors received briefings from heads of security agencies, at the meeting which had in attendance Major-General A. Agundu (Commander, Operation Safe Haven), Major-Gen. F.I. Yahaya, GOC 1 Division, Kaduna, AVM, M.I. Mukhtar (AOC Air Training Command), Kaduna, Rear Admiral T. Pani (Commandant, Nigerian Navy School of Armaments) and other senior military officers.

Also in attendants were the Commissioners of Police and State Directors of the DSS from the concerned states.

The communique said “After briefings and discussions, the governors of the nine states agreed on extraordinary measures to tackle the menace of banditry”.

Present at the meeting were Governors Aminu Masari (Katsina), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna) Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) and Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger), Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state was represented by his deputy, Prof. Nasiru Gawuna.

The Governor of Kwara State joined the meeting by telephone.