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Edo deploys detectives to LGAs for enforcement on COVID-19 protocols

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Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu (2nd left), hands a facemask to a pedestrian during the enforcement of the state’s coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocols at Kings Square in Benin City, yesterday.

• Defaulters to undergo compulsory test
The Edo State government has deployed a batch of 200 constabulary police officers to three Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state to enforce strict compliance with the state’s coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocols.

The enforcement team stormed markets, motor parks, eateries and banks to arrest defaulters who flouted the government’s directive on compulsory wearing of face masks in public places.

The constables were deployed to Oredo Local Government Area (LGA), Ikpoba Okha and Egor LGAs, with a charge to arrest those not wearing face masks.

Addressing the policemen in Benin City, Edo State, Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, charged them on professionalism in enforcing compliance.

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He said anyone found not wearing a face mask in public would be arrested and taken to a centre for compulsory testing.

“You are going for a very important assignment to enforce the COVID-19 safety protocols. You have been deployed to Oredo, Egor and Ikpoba-Okha LGAs to make sure that all the eateries have hand wash facilities and to ensure social distancing among the customers visiting the eateries.

“We must ensure all the eateries and banks are not crowded. People must line up for easy entry. All the drivers, both private and commercial and their passengers must put on face masks,” he charged them.

While conducting the enforcement team across markets, parks, eateries and banks in Benin metropolis, he said: “The enforcement has started, those that were caught today are lucky that they were not taken to the tribunal. And we gave them that opportunity to go and rethink and obey the law. They may not be lucky next time. We have the Police constabulary in place, and the state Public Work Volunteer (PUWOV) and other partners have also contributed men and materials for this cause.

“The state government is determined to enforce COVID-19 safety protocols at all levels. What we have done is just to officially start the commencement of strict enforcement.”

He added that the enforcement was not just for motorists but also for pedestrians.

“Most of our people think they are wearing the face masks to do the government a favour. I think we need to change this narrative and we are working to change that narrative.

He said mobile courts had been set up and anybody caught would be arrested and prosecuted.

He added: “The fine may be small, the punishment may be big. The biggest of them all is the conviction. If you are convicted, just know that you have become an ex-convict.”

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