Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
After two weeks in self-isolation, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday emerged from 14 days 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 do their trades between 6a.m. and 2p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday this week to restock and undertake economic pursuits that would keep their households till the curfew is lifted.
Fayemi, who stated this while flagging off COVID-19 Response/Food Bank, said: “I just got out of self-isolation this morning and this is the first state function I will perform.
“I decided to keep away from you, and in order not to return to self-isolation, I had to observe it as part of the ways to checkmate the spread of this virus.”
Fayemi added that the curfew has to be relaxed to allow the people restock, clarifying that harsh measure was taken to protect the lives of the populace in view of the daunting nature of the virus spread.
He said: “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 April 7 and 9, our people are allowed to move about between the hours of 6a.m. and 2p.m. 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.”
Fayemi said the state government would work out modalities to give financial supports to those whose businesses had been adversely affected by the restriction slammed on the state to rout out COVID-19.
He said in fulfillment of the promises made to the populace, food items would 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.
“We therefore 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 that the stimulus gets to the right people just as we appeal that our people must be careful at this precarious time,” he said.