Federal Govt Declares Closure Of Borders By Some State Illegal

LAGOS APRIL 1ST (NEWSRANGERS)-The federal government has said that the lockdown of some states and theclosure of their borders by their respective governors is illegal.

In reaction to reports of Nigerians being trapped in the border communities of some states because of the closure of the borders by the governor, the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said that the lockdown announced by President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday to stop the escalation of the coronavirus pandemic only affected the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States.

His pronouncement came in Abuja on Monday as the Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, disclosed that the state government had obtained permission from the presidency to begin the lockdown of the state on Friday instead of 11 pm of Tuesday as ordered by President Buhari.

At a press conference in Abuja, on Monday, Mustapha, who is the chairman of the Presidential Task Force for the Control of the Coronavirus-19 Disease (COVID-19), said that the lockdown by Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Delta, Ekiti, and Osun States that has left travellers in agony was illegal.

Mustapha explained that President Buhari’s broadcast was very definitive and categorical, stressing that only Lagos, Ogun and the FCT are to be locked down.

He said: “As a nation, our response must be guided, systematic and professional. There is a need for consistency across the nation. All inconsistencies in policy guidelines between federal and state agencies will be eliminated.

“I referred you to paragraph 29 of the president’s broadcast. We are mindful of the fact that there are those inconsistencies in policies. Such states began to implement their lockdown before the president’s broadcast.

The president’s broadcast was very definitive and categorical, we are only locking down Lagos, Ogun and the federal capital. Those are the only three designated areas for the lockdown now.

“I will make some calls to some security agencies in those borders. I expected that after Mr. President’s broadcast what should ordinarily happen is that, if you had stopped people from getting to their destinations that broadcast should have enabled you release those people to get to their destinations.

“You can put proactive measures like a toll gate to ensure that you test them and allow them get to their destinations. That was what we did at the airports before we finally locked down the airports.

“This lockdown like the president said in paragraph 29 of the national broadcast will be systematic, consistent and will be based on best practices,” he said.

The SGF said that all the donations from international organisations, corporate Nigeria and individuals were still promissory notes.

He assured the citizens that the donations would be used to purchase more testing materials and that the committee would give more details on how people can make more donations.

Mustapha said: “Well, there have been announcements from different quarters. I will start from our donor partners, nothing has come in yet. But we have received commitment from the the European Union (EU), United Nations Group, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, and the Corporate Nigeria, we have received pledges from different organisations and individuals.

“The coalition of the private sector, ably led by the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and Alhaji Aliko Dangote, about two days go, announced a commitment to deploy resources to the tune of about N120 billion in aid, to ensure that collectively as a people with the cooperation and support of government that we deal with this pandemic.

“I believe they are going to own up to their words; we have been talking with them, even this afternoon I spoke with Alhaji Aliko Dangote and I have been speaking with the governor of the central bank. They have asked for a list of things that we need to build capacity and ensure that we have sufficient consumables, testing materials, ventilators and the rest. And this list has been sent to them.

“They have constituted four committees; one is the steering committee which they have graciously asked me to chair, funding committee, technical committee and operational committee. So they are very organised; they intend to raise their resources, they intend to commit them to the fight of coronavirus.

“I believe the generosity of Nigerians will come into play here; we are totally a generous people and I believe not only this group, so many other Nigerians will join this fight.

“By tomorrow we will give details as to the platforms in which these donations will be paid into. We have received authorisation and we have directed the accountant-general of the federation to open an account in the central bank.”

“The terms of reference as well as members of the committee will be announced soon,” he said, adding that “we do not desire to slow down the economy in anyway.”

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Posted by on Apr 1 2020. Filed under National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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