Ibom Air Suspends Flight Operation


Okon Bassey in Uyo

Following the fears being generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Akwa Ibom State Government has ordered the state-owned aircraft, Ibom Air, to suspend operation.

Also, civil servants in government employment were told to stop work with effect from March 30, 2020.

A statement issued yesterday by the state government and signed by the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, said the “Ibom Air will suspend all flight operations from March 29, 2020.”

The SSG disclosed that the state Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has equally approved payment of salaries of state government workers for March yesterday.

“Workers are advised to prepare to stop work and stay at home for one week with effect from March 30, 2020. The stay-at-home order will be strongly enforced,” he stated.

The state government also announced the closure of all borders and roads leading in and out of the state with immediate effect, except for the transportation of food items.

According to it, “Markets are to remain open for sale of foodstuff and essential items only.

“All Churches are strongly requested to fast and pray for God’s mercies on March 29, 2020. Residents and citizens are also strongly advised to apply all the preventive measures earlier announced.

“While the one week stay-at-home order subsists, the state government will continue to monitor and provide regular updates on any development in the COVID-19 situation in our state.

“Although there is no confirmed COVID-19 case in Akwa Ibom State, we abide by the ancient adage that ‘prevention is better than cure’.”

The governor in the statement also enjoined all residents and citizens, including professional bodies, to desists from creating unnecessary panic within the state by propagating unverified news, whipping up selfish and myopic sentiments as well as fanning the embers of discord for pecuniary or political gains.