Covid-19: Plateau Relaxes Lockdown Till Monday, To Send Almajiri Children Away



From Yakubu Busari, Jos


Gov Lalong


Governor Simon Bako Lalong has relaxed the state- wide lockdown for two days, starting from April 24 to 26, to enable its citizens restock for another phase of the implementation of anti-coronavirus measures.

The state is yet to record any serious case of coronavirus owing to the tough measures it has taken. So far 231 cases have been investigated and 22 quarantined, mostly people who came in from states with COVID-19 cases, in the state’s facilities in Heipang and Mangu.

“Of these cases, Thirty- three (33) others have been discharged from self-isolation and none has been confirmed positive, and we are currently awaiting seven more results,” Lalong proudly announced.

In a broadcast yesterday, the governor who announced that the first phase of the total lockdown started on April 9 to April 23, praised the people of the state for their cooperation, stating that “the journey is still far and we cannot be discouraged,”

He said: “However, we gave a window from 11pm, Wednesday 15th April 2020, to 12 midnight of Sunday 19th April 2020, for the total lockdown to be relaxed to enable people go out to restock their homes.

“As the total lockdown elapses by midnight today 23rd April 2020, Government has adopted the following decisions:

“The total lockdown will be relaxed from Midnight of Thursday 23rd April 2020 to 12th Midnight of Sunday 26th April 2020 to enable people again re-stock their homes.

“Thereafter, the total lockdown will resume on Monday 27th April 2020. However, details of the next phase of the lockdown will be issued in due course.

He said in compliance with the collective decision of the Northern Governors Forum, to protect the health of Almajiri ‘children’, he has directed the children to be profiled before been sent to their state of origin.

“Considering the grave danger that Almajiri children are exposed to as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, I am directing the immediate profiling and return of all Almajiris from Plateau State to their respective states of origin to join their families and guardians.

“Accordingly, I have set up a Committee for the immediate profiling and return of Almajiris to be headed by Brig. General Salihu Inusa (rtd).

“ This action is in tandem with the resolution of the Northern Governors Forum, which agreed to act in unison to protect these vulnerable children and further reduce the chances for the spread of the disease.

On security, he said he has directed the “installation of CCTV cameras as well as discreet monitoring, the arrest and trail of violators of lockdown order, while quarantining those who come in from other States.

He ordered markets to remain closed except those selling food items, pharmaceuticals and cooking gas. Also banned are all illegal street trading, street hawking, and street begging.

Others under the official ban are Sunday markets on Ahmadu Bello Way, Bukuru and environs, social joints, nightclubs, drinking parlours.

He pledged to pay salaries and pensions of workers and pensioners as and when due, adding that the state would commence another round of the distribution of palliatives on Sunday, April 26.