Fayemi relaxes lockdown, distributes palliatives

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, on Monday, relaxed the one-week-old lockdown in the state to enable residents to restock as a way of easing the hardship occasioned by the stay-at-home order.

Fayemi, who started the distribution of palliatives to the indigent citizens of the state, particularly the aged and the needy, said, the state government was working out modalities on how to give financial assistance to those whose daily income was affected by the shutdown.

The governor, spoke in Ado Ekiti, while inaugurating the distribution of food items to ease the hardship of the COVID-19 shutdown.

He said, “As part of the measures to protect our people, we shut down the state on March 29 for the initial 14 days with people restricted to their homes. But on Tuesday, April 7, and Thursday, April 9, our people are allowed to move about between the hours of 6am and 2pm to restock.”

Fayemi, also said details of the relaxed lockdown would later be made available by the Ministry of Justice.

He said, “We are particularly sorry for the hardship this lockdown and restriction has brought to our people, especially the poor ones.”

 According to him, the global best approach so far to stop COVID-19 was by curtailing its spread, hence the shutdown of the state for the initial 14 days.

The governor urged the people of the state to persevere for the second week of the lockdown.

 Fayemi also said, “Don’t forget, defeating the COVID-19 pandemic requires our collective responsibility. As a responsible and responsive government, we are conscious of the hardship the shutdown must have brought on our people, especially the poor and most vulnerable citizens among us.

“The relief materials, which are in the form of food packs, are to be distributed to only identified vulnerable households, most of whom are mined from the social register of our vulnerable people’s support programme, domiciled in the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning that covers the 16 local government areas of Ekiti State.

“We are starting with 20,000 vulnerable households in the first phase with the hope that we shall do more within the confines of our resources. I must emphasise that the food packs are meant for identified individuals on the vulnerable persons register and their respective households only, or other persons in genuine need.”

 He cautioned government officials as well as private citizens against pilfering the items.

He said serious consequences await those who indulged in unwholesome practices.

 The governor also appealed to well-meaning individuals, corporate organisations and non-governmental organisations to complement government efforts in cushioning the effects of COVID-19 on the people of Ekiti State.

He said, “The least we can do during this difficult time, is to identify the needy around us and give them the needed support for their survival.”

Fayemi enjoined residents “to continue to follow the precautionary measures of keeping social distancing, washing of hands with soap under clean running water, and, above all, let us obey the stay-at-home order, to stay alive. Remember, we cannot be too careful at this precarious situation.”
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