James Sowole in Akure
Ondo State Government last night placed total ban on all political, social and religious gatherings in the state for 14 days in the first instance.
Specifically, the state government called on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ondo State chapter, to consider postponing its state congress scheduled for today Tuesday, March 24 and take a cue from the Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde who by public apology, agreed that the party did not exercise discretion by organising a political rally in Ibadan, the state capital.
The banning of all public gathering and other actions was revealed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Donald Ojogo in a statement issued on the outcome of State Executive Council meeting.
Ojogo said measures were taken to stem the rampaging menace of COVID -19 pandemic, saying the decisions were taken in the overall interest of the state.
The commissioner said gatherings at clubs, beer parlours and joints are prohibited until further notice.
In addition, the government said “all civil servants from Grade Levels 01-12, except those on essential duties as may be determined by their respective accounting officers and chief executives, are hereby advised to stay at home for now.”
“Government, as well as all persons of goodwill in Ondo State, no doubt, heaved a sigh of relief when a few days ago, our collective anxiety became calm only after the result conducted on a suspected COVID-19 case turned out negative.
“As a responsive government with a strong resolve to stem the influx of an undeterminable number of persons in their hundreds into the state especially from unverifiable areas, the State Government has already directed the Commissioner of Police and heads of other security agencies to enforce all regulations in respect of crowd control as spelt out by the Government,” Ojogo said.
The commissioner said the decisions, are additional regulations to those already reeled out by the governor in his broadcast to the people of the state.
Responding to the ban on political gathering, the Ondo State PDP Director of Publicity, Mr. Zadok Akintoye said the party has cancelled its state congress.
Akintoye said: “In line with our principle of strict adherence to the rule of law and obedience to government regulations, our party announces the cancellation of its planned state congress which is to hold on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
“We take deep cognisance of the ravaging danger the COVID19 virus pandemic poses to the people and had made all arrangements for strict adherence to internationally advised standards for mitigating its spread”.
“However, based on the order and instruction of the Ondo State Government and its directive banning all social gatherings, we hereby announce the postponement of our state congress scheduled for tomorrow (today) for a period of 14 days in line with the instruction of the state government”.