By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Director General of Nigeria Orientation Agency, Garba Abari has condemned the failure of the leaders of Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Market Women Associations to enforce strict compliance of the COVID-19 Protocols on their members.
According to him, “Motorists now resort to night journey as against the 10pm to 6am curfew imposed by the government. Even in Abuja, motorists move about beyond this time limit while in Nasarawa, some youths force the masses to remove their face masks that COVID-19 is not real.
Abari stated this on Thursday at a press conference while presenting the agency’s reports and observations on the 4th and 5th sensitization interventions against the coronavirus disease pandemic in Nigeria.
The NOA Director lamented that the agency observed with regret that despite efforts made by the government, most Nigerians still do not believe that COVID-19 exists.
He said that the agency from its field activities, observed that citizens have further dropped their guards and not observing the protocols eg, use of face masks, hand washing, use of sanitizers and social distancing. Face masks have long become jaw-masks and taxi drivers now drop theirs in their cars and extend same to passengers who do not have when approaching a checking point or law enforcement agencies regardless of whether the last user was a covid-19 positive or negative person.
Abari who commended the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for sustained sensitization called on individuals, communities and groups to take responsibility and protect themselves against COVID-19.
He expressed worry why Road Transport Workers and Market Women Associations have not joined the government to ensure that their members comply to COVID-19 protocols as stipulated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He commended the health workers and experts who have shown tremendous resilience in tacking the issues associated with the disease. They have through their professional practises continued to give support to infected victims, he said and there fore implored them to remain patriotic and resist the temptation to go on strike, knowing that government will always prioritize their welfare.
“Our field Officers especially in Nasarawa State have observed the activities of some youths who go about forcing people to remove the face mask because according to them the virus is not existing, he added.
Abari warned that the gradual easing of lockdown does not mean an end to the scourge but it simply means that we can live our lives by taking individual and community responsibility for the health of everybody in the society.
He therefore appealed to State and Local governments to begin sensitization in schools in view of the partial resumption of schools while service providers should ensure that customers are reminded to observe the precaution measures especially use of sanitizers and face mask.