By Victor Ogunje
The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Monday emerged from 14 days in solitary confinement and flagged off the distribution of palliatives to 20,000 indigent citizens in the state.
Fayemi also relaxed the lockdown imposed on the state since March 29, by giving directive that citizens are allowed to ply their trades between 6am and 2pm on Tuesday and Thursday this week to restock and undertake economic pursuits that would keep their households till the curfew will be lifted.
Fayemi, who spoke while flagging off Covid 19 Response/Food bank, stated that: “I just get out of self isolation this morning and this is the first state function I will perform.
“I decided to keep away from you in order not to return to self isolation I had to observe as part of the ways to checkmate the spread of this virus.”
The governor added that the curfew has to be relaxed to allow the people restock, clarifying that the harsh measure was taken to protect the lives of the populace in view of the daunting nature of the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
“We want to appreciate the tolerance and support of our people since the lockdown began. We know that the spread of Covid-19 was daunting, but with unity of purpose, we will overcome.
“As part of the measures to protect our people, we shut down the state on March 29 for the initial 14 days with people restricted to their homes. But on Tuesday, April 7 and Thursday, April 9, our people are allowed to move about between the hours of 6am and 2pm to restock and the details of this will be made available later by the Ministry of Justice.
“We are particularly sorry for the hardship this lockdown and restriction has brought to our people, especially the poor ones,” he said.
Fayemi said the government will work out modalities to give financial support to those whose businesses have been adversely affected by the restriction slammed on the state to rout Covid-19.
He said the government’s action is in fulfilment of the promises made to the populace that the food items will be distributed to those who are genuinely in need and who had registered with the Ministry of Budget and Planning as poverty-stricken individuals.
“Under no circumstances should this palliative be tampered with until it gets to the right people. The programme is purely apolitical, it has no political colouration.
“The targets are the aged, vulnerable and less fortunate in the society and let me say that whoever sabotages the programme will be severely sanctioned.
“We are starting with 20,000 vulnerable households in the first phase with the hope that we shall do more within the confines of our resources.
“We appeal to the private organisations to partner us in the task of relieving the pains on our people and we urge those handling this programme to ensure the stimulus gets to the right people just as we appeal that our people must be careful at this precarious time,” he said.
He stated that the government has begun decontamination through fumigation of public places like markets, hospitals, motor parks and other institutions across the state to further tame the spread of the lethal disease.