Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has ordered commercial drivers and motorcyclists operating in the state to desist from carrying passengers who are not wearing face masks.
Fayemi declared that the state government would from Monday (today) begin an aggressive enforcement of the compulsory use of face mask and observance of social distancing and promised stiffer penalty to defaulters.
He warned that those found breaching the outlined COVID-19 protocols would be prosecuted and appropriate legal sanctions like fines and observation of community services would imposed as punitive measures.
The governor expressed concern over widespread lack of compliance with COVID-19 regulations in the state, especially as it related to wearing of face mask.
The governor, who spoke through the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Olawale Fapohunda, in Ado Ekiti yesterday, said that the state government has set up special offences court where violators would be prosecuted.
Fapohunda, who reminded transport operators on the need to reject passengers without nose masks in order to avoid attracting sanctions against themselves, said that “both the cyclist and the offender are liable. Okada riders or indeed the transport operators should also enforce the wearing of the mask.
“If somebody is not wearing mask, no ‘okada’ rider or commercial cab should carry such person. We have told the road transportation union members that before they carry passengers, they must be sure that such passengers are wearing mask. They have the right to reject passengers that are not wearing mask. This is not about them, it is about all of us.
“While we are going to vigorously prosecute COVID-19 violators, we are going to do so within the provisions of the constitution and the laws of Ekiti State,” Fapohunda said.
He added that convicted offenders would be made to undergo community service.