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Sunday, April 12, 2020

RESIDENTS CALL FOR STATE OF EMERGENCY AS ROBBERS THREATEN COVID 19 LOCK DOWN IN OGUN STATE



By NGIJ team of  Segun Abifarin and Wale Abydeen

After a week-long captivity by armed militia, residents of Ogun State have called for a declaration of a State of Emergency in the state insisting that the state governor has failed in his constitutional duty of securing their lives and property
Another window of the Lock down crisis was opened last Sunday when hoodlums under the guise of “Multiple Boys” began an inter cult crisis in some part of Ifo, in Ifo Local Government of the State. The clash soon snowballed into full-fledged bloodletting and robbery throughout the week, depriving residents of peace property and sleep.
A resident of Ayede near Ifo told our correspondent that the boys surfaced on Tuesday evening and rudely woke the community, which immediately mobilised the youths and adults for an counter offensive and vigilante service afterwards. Residents of Iyana Ilogbo, Ijoko, Sango were not as lucky as they lost a lot of valuables to the rampaging robbers.
Though the State Police Command claimed to make some arrest on Thursday, it seems the effort merely emboldened the robbers as they came with more terror from Friday to Sunday, most especially in the Ifo and Ota axis.
Angry residents also lambasted the governor and the state police command for their lethargy. One of the resident in Ifo told our correspondent that even when frantic phone calls were made to the Police Control Room in Abeokuta and to the PPRO, at height of the confusion on Saturday night, the calls were not picked.
The helplessness snowballed into a riot in Agbado area on Sunday morning when residents, who were still held captive by the dare devil robbers, beg President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergence in the state and replace the governor with a military administrator. They added that there has been no semblance of governance in the area and they have been left at the mercy of the blood thirsty hoodlums who appeared to be enjoying the protection of the police.
Meanwhile, the residents also maintained that series of indiscretion by the governor is threatening the effectiveness of the Covid 19 lock down in the state.
On Monday, 30th of March, Buhari in a national broadcast announced a lock down of Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. But 24 hours to the deadline, Governor Abiodun, in a broadcast on his state Television shifted the lock down forward by one week, after secured nod of the President to give the state more time to complete the food bank and other palliatives for the shutdown.
When he finally started a week later, he also watered down the lock down by opening the markets every other day from 7.a.m to 2 p.m.
Also, when he eventually started the distribution of the palliatives, against all logistic protocols, the governor decided to “supervise” the distribution of some of the palliatives himself, a situation which attracted unruly crowd, which is against the social standing rule of Covid 19.
For instance, the governor was in Oju Ogbara in Abeokuta last Friday to supervise the palliative distribution, but the event turned rowdy because of the large number of people who were scrambling for the gift. Things got our hands when some angry resident who could not get the gift became unruly and started hurling stones at the convoy of the governor. Some of them were also chanting that things were better for them during the previous administration in the state.
The same rowdy scene was also said to have repeated itself at Sapon Area of the ancient city, forcing health officials to raise the alarm about the anti- social standing danger poised to residents by the governor’s style of palliative distribution.
The enforcement of the lock down is also almost nil in areas such as Ifo and Ado Odo Ota Local Government Areas where movement of goods and persons have been going on unhindered. “The only semblance of lock down here is the holiday given to civil servants and students. Aside this, nothing is happening here…and it is dangerous,” a resident told our correspondent.
Not a few residents are also urging the governor to go on self-isolation consequent upon breaching the social distancing rule of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Calls made to the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kunle Somorin  for the state government reaction were not picked, just as the text messages sent were not replied.

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