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Nigeria is Moving Closer to a Total Lock-down as More Cases of Coronavirus are Confirmed | Here’s What’s Happening

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Tough times, they say, call for tough measures, and it is interesting to see Nigerians gradually uniting to stop the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus. More states have joined Lagos and Kwara states in sending civil servants on compulsory holidays to reduce social contact and prevent the escalation of cases. Public and private firms are adopting the work from home method, public gatherings are being prohibited, and even curfews have been placed in some states.

Niger State Goes on Total Lockdown

Niger State is the first state to adopt one of the strictest measures in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state. Even though the state has not reported any infection at the moment, the state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, declared a curfew following the coronavirus outbreak in the country. According to the governor, the curfew will begin at 8pm and end 8am until further notice, starting from Wednesday.

There is also a ban on all public gatherings of more than 20 people. Street hawking and begging have also been prohibited. Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State also directed all civil servants from level 1-12 to stay at home except those on essential services.

Nigeria recorded its first death from the Covid-19 outbreak on Monday after the country confirmed five new cases. Nigeria has a total of 40 confirmed cases including one death. Lagos (28), FCT (7), Ogun (2). Oyo (1), and Edo state.

The CJN has suspended all court sittings for two weeks

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Tanko Mohammed has ordered the suspension of all court sittings except in matters that are urgent, for 14 days, because of COVID-19. This announcement was made in a communique issued by the CJN on Monday.

The CJN maintained that the decision was geared toward the protection of justices, judges, and staff of courts.

Read the full CJN statement below;

RE: PREVENTIVE MEASURES ON THE SPREAD OF CORONA VIRUS (COVID – 19) AND THE PROTECTION OF JUSTICES, JUDGES AND STAFF OF COURTS

Further to my earlier Circular Ref. No. NJC/CIR/HOC/II/629dated 20th March, 2020, on the above subject matter. In view of the reality of the COVID-19 in the country and in order to take further preventive steps, all Heads of Courts are, from tomorrow, the 24th day of March, 2020, directed to suspend Court sittings for an initial period of two weeks at the first instance, except in matters that are urgent, essential or time-bound according to our extant laws.

Your Lordships are hereby directed to bring the content of this Circular to the notice of all Stakeholders in justice administration, please.

Hon. Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR

Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman,

National Judicial Council.

Anambra State has sent home the state workforce for 14 days as a measure to contain COVID-19 in the state

Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano, in a new committee constituted on Friday evening to monitor cases of the virus in the state, asked workers to work from home, except health workers. He, however, directed that workers whose attention would be needed within the 14 days of isolation would be called upon to render special services.

Watch his full speech below:

Edo State has banned public gatherings after recording its first coronavirus case

The Edo State government announced that a ban has been placed on public gatherings of over 50 persons in the state. The announcement was made by Governor Godwin Obaseki during a briefing after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the state on Monday.

The first case of coronavirus in the state was confirmed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Twitter.

Also, schools are to remain closed in the state and civil servants from grade level 1- 12 are to work from home among other measures to deal with COVID-19 threat in the state.

Rivers State shuts down night clubs, bans public burials, weddings and all forms of public gatherings

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has announced the shutting down of all public parks, night clubs and cinemas in the state as a result of coronavirus. He announced the establishment of surveillance posts for all the borders in Rivers, including the ports, to test people for coronavirus before they are allowed entry into the state.

Governor Wike, revealed that the new policy takes effect this Tuesday. Wike also banned all forms of open worship, public weddings and burials. In a speech posted on his Facebook, Wike said:

With effect from the same date (Tuesday, March 24, 2020), all public parks, night clubs and cinemas in the State are to remain closed till further notice.

Similarly, after due consultations with religious leaders, it was agreed that all religious organisations are to temporarily stop all forms of open worship. Public burial and wedding ceremonies are also banned within this period. In view of the fact that the disease spreads fast through body contact, social distance has become imperative if we are to contain the spread.

May I, therefore call on all religious leaders, traditional rulers and opinion leaders in the State to assist government to implement these decisions by ensuring that persons under their care do not fall foul of this directive. Wike directed Local Government Council Chairmen to ensure that public burials and weddings do not take place in their respective areas.

May I emphasise that Local Government Chairmen are to be held responsible if public burials and weddings take place in their Local Government Areas. Government will set up monitoring teams for the 23 Local Government Areas to ensure compliance. Defaulters will be seen as enemies of the State and will be made to face appropriate sanctions. My Dear Good People of Rivers State, the essence of governance is to protect lives and we cannot be indifferent when this COVID-19 continues to claim lives world-wide.

We urge everyone to remain calm and maintain social distance. We shall continue to review the situation and adjust accordingly. Like I said in my Broadcast last Friday, these decisions may seem painful for all of us but there is no price that is too much to pay for us to stay alive. The Rivers State Governor stated that with effect from Tuesday, March 24, 2020, surveillance posts would be set up across the state.

The Rivers State Government has reviewed current developments across the country is desirous to further strengthen prevention measures across the State to keep our citizens safe.

To this end, with effect from tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, Surveillance Posts are to be set up at the following Borders of the State:
(1) Emohua for motorists coming from Bayelsa and States
(2) Omerelu for motorists coming from Owerri
(3) Okehi for motorists coming from Imo State through Etche
(4) Akwuzie in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area for motorists coming from Imo State
(5)Oyigbo Toll Gate for motorists coming from Aba and
(6)Opoku in Khana Local Government Area for motorists coming from Akwa Ibom State.

Marine entry points: Port Harcourt and Onne Ports , Nembe, Bille,Bonny and NLNG Jetties are also going to be under surveillance. Each of the Surveillance Posts shall be manned by trained health and security personnel who will ensure that motorists and seafarers are tested before they are allowed to enter the State. All motorists and seafarers are please enjoined to cooperate with the Surveillance teams as they have been empowered to legitimately enforce this directive.

I use this medium to call on citizens to minimise family visits. Rather , everyone should maintain contacts through the use of telephones.

Pic.36. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, addressing a stakeholders meeting on 2019 General Elections’ postponement, in Abuja on Saturday (16/2/19).
01462/16/2/2019/Sumaila Ibrahim/BJO/NAN

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suspends all activities

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended its activities on Monday, as part of efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The commission said the measure was taken in line with the advisory on social distancing from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

However, INEC clarified that the preparations for Ondo and Edo State governorship polls will not be affected by the suspension.

It was revealed that the suspension of activities will last for 14 days, while the regular quarterly meetings with stakeholders, including political parties, civil society organisations, media, and security will not hold until when normalcy returns.

The commission will no longer monitor the conventions, congresses, conferences or meetings of political parties until further notice.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai

The Kaduna State Government has asked civil servants from level 12 and below to stay at home for the next 30 days

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has threatened to impose a state-wide curfew should enforcement of emergency measures fail to contain the outbreak of coronavirus which has already affected several states in the country.

The governor stated this while asking civil servants from level 12 and below to stay at home for the next 30 days effective from March 24, 2020. El-Rufai, who decried the flouting of government’s directive against large gatherings, however, expressed gratitude to those religious leaders who complied with the directive.

He said that the government has now decided to move from advice to actual enforcement of its restrictions on large gatherings, especially in churches and mosques.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange will no longer meet physically as it resorts to remote trading

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has suspended all trading activities due to the recent confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country.

In a statement on Twitter, the NSE noted that with effect from Wednesday, March 25, 2020, all its trading floors will be temporarily closed, while remote trading will continue. It added that NSE staff will begin a 30-day remote working plan and will be available across all digital platforms to provide support.

You guys should please please please remember to stay safe during this period. Put social distancing into practise, and don’t leave your house unless you absolutely have to. Wash your hands, too. And don’t touch your face.

Photo Credit: @NigerStateNG

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