Worried by the continuous violation of the closure of all boundary routes into Plateau State which has been identified as a major source of importing COVID-19 into the State, Governor Simon Bako Lalong on Monday 11th May 2020 visited some boundary entry points to assess the situation.
Governor Lalong was at the Forest-Hawan Kibo boundary point in Ryom Local Government area which is one of the major entrance routes to the State from FCT, Nasarawa, Kaduna and other parts of the country.
The Governor addressed the security personnel at the boundary where he expressed displeasure over the fact that the orders issued by the State and Federal Governments are not being carried out effectively as people still enter the State despite the closure order.
He said “We have given the order that no vehicles should come into the State while trucks should not pass this boundary once it is 6pm, even if it is exempted from the movement restriction. I see from the CCTV how these trucks pass and this must stop. I am warning the officers and men here to be more diligent, or face the consequences. You have made sacrifices to assist Government contain COVID-19, please don’t allow few among you to spoil your good work and integrity”.
Chairman of Ryom Local Government Mafeng Gwolson told the Governor that the border has been reinforced while illegal routes are also being addressed adequately through community engagement.
Along the way, the Governor intercepted some motorists for violating the movement order and non use of face masks. He counseled them and then directed security agencies to ensure they are made to comply with Government directives.
When he visited the Ganawuri-Manchok boundary route, Governor Simon Lalong again emphasized the need for strict adherence to the boundary closure in order to curb the transfer of the disease from other States and within Local Governments.
He also visited the Jingre-Saminaka boundary post in Bassa Local Government where he directed that all illegal boundary routes should be blocked with concrete barriers such as the one identified near the NNPC Depot on Zaria road.
He also directed the Local Government Chairman to engage the community leaders and also liaise with the NURTW to ensure that the trucks at the boundary are evacuated and strict compliance to boundary closure enforced.
Lalong said “The rising cases in the State with origin from other States demand that all hands must be on deck to curtail importation and also deal with the community spread from existing cases which are 17 as at 9th May 2020”.
He also visited one of the mobile courts in Jingre where he commended the Magistrates for working tenaciously to safeguard the lives of the citizens through addressing violations of government directives.
The Governor was also at the Ryom General Hospital which has been designated as a treatment centre for COVID-19. He was briefed on the few modifications required to make the facility suitable by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nimkong Lar.
On return to Government House in Rayfield, the Governor inspected a handwashing machine produced by one of the leading innovators in Plateau State, Engr. Jerry Mallo.