The inter-state lockdown decision taken by the Nigerian Governors Forum is a “done deal.”
On Sunday, a Chief Press Secretary to a state governor confirmed this to DAILY POST.
He explained that the chief executives made their position known on Friday to enable the federal government to put in place necessary arrangements for compliance.
“The governors’ resolution is to curtail the spread of Coronavirus. The federal government has the power to shut inter-state borders, hence the request to Mr. President,” he said.
“The two weeks’ lockdown will be announced by Mr. President. It’s a done deal. However, he will list exemptions and give Nigerians other important information.”
The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) had asked President Muhammadu Buhari, to stop inter-state movements.
Their position was contained in a letter addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation/Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha.
Signed by the NGF chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, the forum wants free but restricted movement within states.
They requested inter-state lockdown, free movement of essential supplies such as food, beverages, medical and pharmaceutical, petroleum supplies and agricultural products.
Others are internal free movement but restrictions on large gatherings and assemblies, overnight curfews, flights ban and compulsory use of face masks/coverings in public.
Currently, Nigeria has recorded 1182 cases of COVID-19 and 35 deaths.
But the figure could be higher considering the situation in Kano.
Unofficial numbers trending on social media suggest 600 cases in Kano, but a source simply told DAILY POST “it’s way higher”.
All attention has been drawn to the state over rising deaths in the last one week allegedly caused by Coronavirus and meningitis.
The situation has been compounded by two factors: Suspension of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) operations with no definite date for resumption and hasty burials of victims – without autopsy – in line with Islamic rites.
But the NCDC says the agency follows state governments’ lead.
Dr Chinwe Ochu, Head of Prevention, Programmes and Knowledge Management, clarified that their mandate was to assist on state’s preparedness and response through capacity building, training, guidance and coordination.
“NCDC does not have an office in Kano nor in any state. However, NCDC supports states in setting up public health emergency operations centres run by states to ensure effective coordination of a public health response”, Ochu said.
On Saturday, a 70-year-old woman, Selma Ahmed, indicted the NCDC and Kano State government over the death of her son-in-law.
“What will happen to my grandchildren? Please, I want people to come to my aid. I am dying; I’m an old woman. NCDC in Abuja, FCT Minister…I am shouting to everybody, please help me,” she wailed in a viral audio.