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Bayelsa schools not complying with COVID-19 safety rules

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Even with a committee in place and teachers trained for the safe re-opening of schools in Bayelsa State, The Guardian observed that public primary and secondary schools are yet to adhere to the Federal Government’s protocols against the coronavirus (COVID-19), the criteria for schools’ re-opening.

The Guardian visited some schools in Yenagoa and observed that none of the schools visited was keeping to the rules.

Though the state has inaugurated a committee chaired by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Dr. Peter Akpe, on safe re-opening of schools, the situation in the schools remains appalling.

The 10-man Safe Schools Re-opening Committee, according to the governor, is to monitor the implementation of the COVID-19 safety protocols across the state.

However, at a private secondary school in Kpansia, some students were seen with face masks and hand sanitisers, which their parents reportedly bought for them.

The governor, while declaring open the Safe School Re-opening Train-the-Trainers’ programme on Tuesday, said the state had emplaced safety measures to check the spread of the virus, preparatory to the resumption.

He also said the government provided 10,000 face masks, temperature scanners, soap and water for all public and private schools in the state.

Meanwhile, the governor has stressed the need for fiscal autonomy for the judicial arm of government as it is for the executive and legislature.

While hosting chief judges from the South South region to a dinner in Government House, Yenagoa, the governor said the autonomy was necessary for democracy to thrive in the country.

His Acting Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, quoted him in a statement as saying that the call became imperative considering the significant role of the judiciary in building a virile society.

“For the judicial arm to play its constitutional role as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, it must enjoy fiscal autonomy. I do not see why the judiciary should not enjoy autonomy. I will continue to be an advocate of fiscal autonomy for the judiciary as enshrined in the constitution.

“As a product of the judiciary that is noted for honesty and steadfastness, without upright judges, I won’t be here as governor of Bayelsa,” Diri stated.

He urged the judges to uphold the tenets of their profession, adding that if democracy would survive in the country, the judiciary would be a factor.

The Chief Judge of Bayelsa, Justice Kate Abiri, said she was delighted when the governor insisted on hosting the judges despite the short notice.

She lauded the governor and past administrations for their development efforts and urged the governor to carry on with his advocacy for fiscal autonomy of the judiciary.

“I approached him just a day before to invite him to the dinner in honour of the judges in my home, but he insisted on being the chief host. I was glad because I didn’t have the space to take everyone,” she said.

Also, the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Adama Lamikanra, thanked the governor for hosting them and for his positive disposition towards the judiciary.

In attendance were the House of Assembly Speaker, Abraham Ingobere, as well as the chief judges of Delta and Edo states among other judges and top government functionaries.


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