Nigeria: Coronavirus - Ogun Shuts Routes to Other States, Benin Republic

The Ogun State Government has announced the closure of its routes to neighbouring states and the international border with the Republic of Benin.

The closure will be effected at 12 midnight on Sunday. It will be in force for two weeks in the first instance.

Ogun shares boundaries with Lagos, currently the epicentre of the pandemic.

The government said with this restriction order, "movement in and out of the state is thus banned as a further measure to contain the coronavirus pandemic".

The statement was made available on the official Twitter page of Ogun State Government and signed by Kunle Somorin, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun.

It said "the state is constrained to effect border closure in order to stem and flatten the curve of the spread of the dreaded corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic, not only in the state but in the country and in the West African sub-region.

"The position of Ogun State is peculiar. It not only shares an international border with the Republic of Benin, it does so with all other states in the South West (except Ekiti), including Lagos State, which has understandably recorded the highest number of infections in the country largely because it hosts the busiest air and sea ports and it's the nation's economic capital.

"The border closure will not only be beneficial to Ogun State but the national efforts to curtail and contain the virus. Lessons from other climes strongly indicate that closure of borders has the potential to drastically flatten the curve of spread whilst unrestricted movement portends grave dangers."

Exceptions

The governor said the only exceptions to the interstate restrictions are vehicles conveying personnel involved in essential services such as security agencies, health workers, food and medical items and petroleum products.

The statement enjoined citizens to fully cooperate with the security agencies who have been fully briefed and directed to effect the closure, noting that at this period of a global pandemic and national emergency all hands must be on deck to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

The border closure and other measures will be reviewed from time to time, in response to developments as they unfold, the statement noted.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how many states have subtly 'usurped' the powers of President Muhammadu Buhari by closing routes leading to their states to curb the current health outbreak.

Mr Buhari has also been criticised for not being in the 'frontline' of direct efforts to address the outbreak like other world leaders.

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