Niger State Government has declared the compulsory use of face masks by all residents of the state as one of the measures taken to curb the spreading and contracting of Coronavirus (COVID 19).
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello gave the order while flagging off the distribution of face masks in Minna.
Bello who acknowledged the use of face mask and social distancing as major ways of reducing the spread of the disease said it has become mandatory for all residents to comply.
“By this declaration, the public wearing of face masks and observation of social distancing are mandatory acts for all residents, aimed at controlling the spread of the virus and other related diseases”, he stated.
He urged the chairmen of the 25 local government areas in the state to replicate the distribution of the face masks and ensure its compliance and obeying the social distancing order.
According to him, failure to wear the face masks and adhering to social distancing will lead to arrest and prosecution.
Sani Bello said the two orders he signed, the Niger State Prevention Containment and Emergency orders to curtail the movement of people has been pivotal in preventing community infection of the virus, adding that no fewer than 50 violators have been convicted for violating the orders.
The governor announced that the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has agreed to lockdown the states for the next 14 days in order to allow early dictation of those carrying the virus so that they get treatment.
Governor Bello said specific persons on essential duties such as food and water vendors, shops, supermarkets, pharmaceutical stores including farmers will be allowed to operate under strict adherence to physical distancing as well as handwashing with soap and water or sanitizers.
The governor appealed to the people of the State especially Heads of Security Agencies to be enforcers of the lockdown order in the interest of all.
He then commended the state task force on COVID 19, Prevention, Traditional and Religious leaders the security and all the stakeholders that are playing significant roles in the fight against the deadly Virus that has held the world bound.
On Ramadan, Bello, enjoined all Muslim Ummah to comply with the directive of the Sultan of Sokoto by observing their prayers at home and also not to engage in Ramadan public lectures.