*orders workers to stay at home till January 4
By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has called for restraint in celebrations during the Christmas and New Year festivities as he announced the suspension of street carnivals, crowded cross-over night service, parties and similar gatherings in the state, due to an increase in COVID-19 infections across the nation.
The governor on Wednesday also directed all civil servants and other government workers in the State to proceed on Christmas and New Year holiday from Thursday, December 24.
According to the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Kunle Somorin, the directives were issued on Wednesday after a meeting between the state government and religious leaders from the League of Imams and the Christian Association of Nigeria as well as community leaders as part of the measures and guidelines for public health as the state prepares for a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Governor directed that all Schools in the State are to remain closed until January 18, 2021, while all bars, nightclubs, pubs and event centres, recreational centres in the state have also been closed down indefinitely.
The Governor further directed that all markets are to open strictly between 8am and 4pm while maintaining social distancing and observing all COVID-19 protocols, including the use of face mask, provision of hand sanitizer and/or hand-washing equipment at every strategic point within their malls, shops, business premises etc.
Gov Abiodun further directed that religious and worship centres should not exceed 50 per cent of their capacity. All services must also be in compliance with all COVID-19 protocols.
In order to stem, the spread of the second wave of the disease, Gov. Abiodun advised that “there should be no gatherings of more than 50 people at any event or ceremonies.
He gave example of such events as conferences, congresses, office events, concerts, seminars, sporting activities, cross-over nights, end of year parties, weddings, naming, birthdays, anniversaries, street carnivals, etc until further notice”.
He also called on motorcycle (okada), tricycle, bus, car, taxi and other transport operators not to carry passengers above 50 percent of their capacity, in compliance with social distancing rules.
While urging citizens to celebrate in moderation, Gov. Abiodun wished the people a Merry Christmas and prosperous 2021, saying they should take personal responsibilities and stay within their residences and not embark on travels within and outside the State to ensure they neither transmit nor contract the virus.
For religious centres, the League of Imams and the Christian leaders adopted the earlier positions taken in the wake of COVID-19 earlier in the year.