As the one-week precision lockdown in Ijeshaland progresses, the state government of Osun has warned those hiding under the toga of ‘essential services’ to defy the lockdown order of the State Government.
It was observed that on the second day of the lockdown, the Osunjela boundary experienced a gridlock caused by vehicles attempting to go in to Osogbo from Ilesha and vice versa, most of whom claimed were on essential duties. Some others sought to access other States through the axis.
While addressing some of those apprehended, the Special Adviser to the Governor of the State of Osun on Security, Mrs Abiodun Ige, warned that essential duty staff are expected to cooperate with the government, rather than leveraging on their status to junket and breach the lockdown.
Ige said: “Every resident of Ilesha is essential in his own space, and has reasons to be on the road. But the situation in Ijeshaland is a desperate one, and the government has done what is required in the best interest of the people.
“You cannot claim to be a Fire Service Officer from Osogbo, heading for Ilesha for assignment, when there is a Fire Station with Officers in Ilesha. That is not fair.”
Ige further counselled those on intra and inter-state trips to access their destination through the highway.
Reacting to the situation, the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation in the State of Osun, Mrs Funke Egbemode, in a statement, said that the government expected essential duty staff to approach their services with utmost responsibility.
The statement read in part: “The reason for granting exemption to essential duty staff amidst the lockdown was to ensure that basic needs of the people, ranging from health to information needs, are taken care of.
“It is therefore strange that it is those who should know better that are trying to sabotage government efforts. The lockdown imposed on four local government areas in Osun was done to protect residents of the affected communities. It was done to curb the spread of the virus. It was done in good faith to keep our state safe. It is sad that certain unscrupulous persons are trying to undo everything Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is going. It is unfortunate that a few people are working against the sacrifices the people of the State of Osun have made since March to fight COVID-19. We implore them to have a rethink and stop actions that put the wellbeing, lives and livelihood of all us at risk. It is both ungodly and illegal to do so.”
Egbemode added that the government is taking the lockdown at the Ilesha axis with seriousness, considering that what the state is facing is community transmission in the axis.
She therefore warned residents of the four local government areas to show better level of responsibility by complying with the directives of the government.
The precision lockdown continues in Ilesha East, Ilesha West, Atakumosa East and Atakumosa West.