Soldiers enforce shutdown order as Uzodinma closes motor parks
– Public officers work from home in Abia State
Soldiers were deployed to the streets of Owerri and other parts of Imo State yesterday, forcing residents into their homes in a move to enforce Governor Hope Uzodinma’s shutdown order.
Shop owners on the streets were also directed to close their stalls, even as fewer vehicles sighted on the streets were made to undergo thorough screening.
Governor Uzodinma had in a statewide broadcast at the weekend ordered the closure of all markets, land borders, as well as religious and social gatherings in a bid to contain the spread of Coronavirus in the state, which was yet to record any confirmed case of COVID-19.
Also in a statement issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser, Oguwike Nwachuku, the state government ordered the closure of all motor parks, stressing, “Governor Uzodinma has directed that all motor parks operating within the state be shut down immediately.
“The directive is in furtherance of the state government’s efforts to contain the spread of Coronavirus in Imo. Governor Uzodinma had announced a lockdown of the state on Saturday and restricted activities in Churches, markets, marriages and burial ceremonies, among others.”
Similarly, following measures put in place by the Abia State government to contain the spread of the disease, about 20 per cent of government workers now man the state service, while others were directed to work from home.
The government had announced total lockdown of the state on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, just as the State Head of Service (HoS), Chief Onyii Wamah, directed each Permanent Secretary, Chief Executive or Head of Ministry, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to work out modalities on how the 20 per cent of their staff members would be selected.
He also directed heads of public offices and those in council areas to prepare a roster of their staff members in such a way that non-essential staff on Grade Level 12 and below should work from home.
Wamah added, however, that officers on Grade Level 12 and below considered essential staff should be identified and duly informed, adding that they would continue to provide necessary services to the people.
According to the HoS’ memorandum on the subject matter, officers who would be on duty at this time are expected to observe social distancing by sitting or standing a minimum of 1.5 meters apart, while discussing among themselves or attending to clients.
“They are to also limit the number of visitors, as much as possible, while maintaining good hygiene practices and general environmental awareness,” the memo stated.