COVID 19: Ekiti residents defy sit-at-home order


Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado Ekiti

Residents of Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Tuesday ignored the sit-at-home order given by the State Government.

Our correspondent observed there was low complaince with the directives as activities in the state remained as usual with trading activities on the prowl in some areas visited.

Governor Fayemi had on Sunday announced that the state wil be totally locked down with full restriction of human and vehicular movements commencing from Tuesday as part of the strategic efforts to mitigate against the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

However, over 150 vehicles, motorbikes were said to have been impounded and violators were arrested by combined forces of security agencies, who patrolled round Ado Ekiti Metropolis and other towns to enforce the order.

The order was enforced by soldiers, operatives of the Department of State Services , police, men of the Ekiti State Peace Corps,Ekiti State Traffic Management Agency, Federal Road Safety Corps and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

The operatives paraded the major streets and arrested the defiant motorists and commercial motorcyclists with their vehicles and motorbikes  impounded for violating the order.

Vehicles and motorbikes arrested were impounded inside the main bowl of the Fajuyi park pavilion in the state capital.

The security personnel mounted barricades at all the entry points and highways , while their men took over major junctions like Ijigbo, Okeyinmi, Fajuyi and Odo Ado  to control in and outflow of humans and  vehicles .

Only few sellers of essential goods and commodities exempted by the government from total shutdown order were allowed to ply their trades at the popular Oja Oba Market, Irona, Odo Ado and the Mojere markets within the metropolis, which makes those places look scanty.

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The popular lock up shops at Basiri , Ajilosun and other strategic  areas where sellers of building materials and spare parts were concentrated were under lock and key.

Though, banks and medicine stores were allowed to operate, but they only attended to few customers due to the fact that the order got substantial compliance from residents.

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As at 6:30 pm, the security agencies were still going about in patrol vans around the capital city and arresting those who contravened the sit-at-home directive.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Mr Sunday Abutu, said those arrested for violating the order will be prosecuted accordingly.

He said the punishment will be based on the severity of the offence committed.

Abutu commended the security agencies for being civil and professional in the way they handled the enforcement.

“The punishment that will be meted out to offenders depends on the level of offence committed.

“Those who committed lesser offences can be cautioned and warned to desist while those who cannot be pardoned will face prosecution.

“The government had made it clear that fines and imprisonment are the two options that will be applied and our own is to arrest and charged accordingly while the government will do the prosecution.

“So, whoever flouts the order and was arrested should be ready to face the music,” he said.



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