YULETIDE: PLATEAU STATE GOVERNMENT MEETS STAKEHOLDERS ON SECURITY/COVID-19
Plateau State Government has said that it does not intend to impose a lockdown in response to the second wave of COVID-19, but will ensure strict compliance to all protocols.
This was disclosed at a stakeholders meeting convened by Governor Simon Bako Lalong with Local Government Chairmen, traditonal rulers, religious leaders, community leaders and health experts to discuss how best to address the situation in line with the advisory of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
The meeting convened by Governor Simon Bako Lalong was presided over by Secretary to the Government of Plateau State Prof. Danladi Abok Atu who is the Coordinator of the State Taskforce on COVID-19.
During the meeting, Prof. Atu said the event was organised to draw the attention of the stakeholders to the urgency of the situation occasioned by the second wave of the pandemic particularly during the yuletide season.
He said the Governor has directed that strong measures must be taken to ensure that people are sensitised to observe all the COVID-19 protocols in order to curb the spread of the disease.
After exhaustive deliberations, the meeting adopted the following measures on COVID-19.
1. All public gatherings including places of worship should cut down attendance to 50 percent of their capacity.
2. All cultural festivals are banned
3. The use of facemasks should be enforced in all public places while social distancing, hand washing and other protocols are adhered to.
4. Covid-19 Testing should be enhanced in all Local Government areas while all sample collection Centres be publicised to encourage voluntary testing.
5. The stakeholders should hold similar sensitization engagements with their members at the grassroots
6. More sensitization should be carried out to avoid stigmatisation of those infected or suspected to have the disease.
7. All recreational centres are to be closed until further notice
On security, the Secretary to the Government Prof. Atu said security reports available to the Government indicate that some criminal elements are planning attacks on some communities in the State during the yuletide season.
He said the Governor mandated the meeting to foster a more community-driven response to intelligence and surveillance so as to assist security agencies with useful information to enable them respond to any threat of attack by criminals.
Atu said the State Government is working with the security agencies to be more proactive rather than reactive. He also said the State has strengthened Operation Rainbow to ensure that it compliments the security effort.
After the discussion, the meeting resolved the following on security:
1. Reinforce surveillance and intelligence gathering in all communities
2. All security threats should be reported immediately using the appropriate channels
3. Public transporters particularly commercial tricycle operators should be registered
4. Vigilante groups and community watch groups should be motivated
5. All suspects arrested for crimes such as kidnapping, murder should be thoroughly investigated
6. Motorcycles and tricycles are banned from operating on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th December 2020 and Friday1st January 2021 across the 17 Local Governments.
7. All boundary routes into the State and within the Local Government areas should be monitored and check-points mounted to monitor movements.
8. Communities are encouraged to work together and compare notes on happenings around them.