…Ebonyi Govt Closes Down Schools, Others
By Ruth Oginyi and Agnes Igwe
Government of Ebonyi State has dismissed 2020 Batch A Corps members, of National Youth Service Corps NYSC who are were undergoing their camping exercises in the state.
The development which came up on Wednesday was in line with federal government directive following the recent record of coronavirus in the country.
Report had it that Lagos state Ministry of Health, had on Tuesday confirmed another case of coronavirus, thereby making it the third time new case was recorded in the country.
Commissioner for Youth and Sports development in the State, Mr. Charles Akpuenika, when contacted on phone confirmed the dismissal and said the corps members have been addressed by the NYSC authority, that they already left the camp.
Akpuenika said, “I got a call last night, Tuesday, 17th March, 2020 for the suspension of NYSC members currently in camp, that the NYSC coordinator has addressed the corps members on that this morning by 6:00am, they were already living the camp.”
“The suspension is because of the coronavirus, a woman was currently diagnosed of that virus and she has been quarantined, she is being treated.”
Source from the orientation camp, said the corps are leaving one after the other, “They are only doing some things they should have done in the remaining days of camping, but because of the urgent information, they had to do it in a hurry.
“Like collection of ID cards, posting letters and those who still have one or two books to sign, they are now signing it, after signing, they would leave. But they have not started going out of the town.”
She said that all allowances accrued to the corps members are being paid today, “we pay online. The reason for the camp closure is the coronavirus, the Federal Government wants to decongest the camp, people no longer want to be crowded again.
Even the football festival has been postponed too. By the grace of God, we hope once the coast is cleared we will come back and complete the exercise.” she said.
Traders at mammy market are lamenting and counting their loses concerning the abrupt end of the 2020 Batch A stream I orientation camp.
One of the traders said, “I’ve bought a lot of foodstuff and perishables, but there’s no way I can sell them again since the camp has been closed down due to Covid-19. it’s a big loss for most of us who sell food here. I just hope most of my perishables won’t spoil completely, because I bought most of them in bulk.”
Another trader, who pleaded anonymous told Citizens’ Advocate that they don’t know what to do with most of their foodstuffs, especially those perishables, the tomatoes, peppers, vegetables.
she said, “As for me, I don’t know what to do with most of my foodstuffs that I purchased majorly to sell in this camp, especially the perishables. The soups and stews that I cooked is still much and camp is already canceled. I hope there is a way NYSC can compensate us, even if it is in a little way.”
Wednesday, being the day the camp was closed down due to the rampaging Coronavirus, it was the same day Skill acquisition programmes were meant to start in camp with hands on skills.
Skills facilitators of different skills at Afikpo lamented the abrupt end of the programme as many of them had prepared by purchasing materials and equipment solely for teaching aids during the in-camp Skill Acquisition and Entrpreneurial Development (SAED) programme.
Some of them who spoke with Citizens’ Advocate lamented that they had transported themselves to camp, spent some days since Sunday, some since Monday, but the end came to the camp and couldn’t commence the training.
Some who pleaded anonymous said, “I expected that they would consider us and pay us the token which is our training fee as a compensation for all the expenses we’ve made.”
Another anonymous said, “I’ve bought a lot of materials for this camp and I expect to use it to train the corps members, NYSC should compensate us by paying us our stipend to make up for our expenses.
In another development, following the recent outbreak of the dreaded virus Coronavirus otherwise refered to as Covid-19 ravaging the world, the Ebonyi state government has announced closure of all schools Nursery, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary, both private and public as measure to prevent further spread.
The state Governor and the Governor of South East Governors Forum, Chief David Umahi in a statement signed by Secretary to state government Dr Kenneth Ugbala ordered the schools to close at 12noon on 20th March, 2020 and enjoined all security agencies to ensure strict compliance to the directive.
The Governor who admonished the people to imbibe habit of high level personal and environmental hygiene, directed the state ministry of health and state committee on anti coronavirus to deploy health officer to all markets, rice mills, quarry sites banks and other public event management centers to conduct random medical checks on people and quarantine when necessary.
All churches and markets leaders, event center managers are to devise measures to contend the virus which include use of hand sanitizers and provision of water at strategic places for frequent hand washing.
Governor Umahi order prohibition of all gathering of more than 50 persons and owners of domestic pets are advised to be mindful of the way they relate with them.
“I am directed by His Excellency, the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Chief David Nweze Umahi, FNSE, FNATE to request all private and public schools from Nursery and Primary Schools , Secondary and Tertiary institutions to round up and close down their school activities by twelve noon of 20th March, 2020.”
“Government by this announcement directs all security agencies to ensure that all private and public schools are immediately closed down in line with this directives.”
“The Ministry of health and State Committee on Anti coronavirus are hereby directed that they should deploy all health officers to all markets, rice mills, quarry, banks and other public event management centers to carry out test on people randomly.”
“All the night clubs and other night activities are by this announcement closed down. Every gathering of more than 50 persons in our religious worship centers is hereby prohibited. All markets and religious centers must deploy a strategy of hand sanitizers and deploy other temperature checks at their entry and exit places.”
“The State Government shall meet with religious Leaders in few days to discuss on the gathering of their worship centers. State shall also start on Monday the 23rd of March, to do stop and test to all people entering Ebonyi State as a way of safe guarding our people.”
“The health workers are immediately directed by this announcement by Friday 21st March to move from house to house to use 150 infrared thermometer devices to test all Ebonyians. Government of Ebonyi State have proactively built a testing and quarantine centers at Unity square and the border between Enugu and Ebonyi and shall build more at all the exit and entering points of Ebonyi State as a way of ensuring that the health of everybody entering or exiting Ebonyi State is ascertained. Ebonyians are advised against hand shaking and hugging, eating of animals to have been identified as means of contacting the virus should be avoided as a way of protecting themselves.”
“Coronavirus/Lassa fever scourge are realities in Nigeria and all these are measures taken in Ebonyi state to protect Ebonyians. Ebonyi State Government strongly advised for self isolation/quarantine for all those coming from outside the Country.”