By Nofisat Marindoti
The Osun State Government, yesterday, began the enforcement of large gathering ban across the State, as part of Osun's pre-infection measures.
The Special Task Force, which comprised some state functionaries and police men, compelled the management of Churches, Night Clubs and Joints to discontinued their meetings in compliance to the directive of the state government ordering an outright ban of public gatherings of whatever density and nature as part of control measures for the spread of COVID-19.
The state government had on Saturday announced the outright ban, through a public service announcement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji.
The statement read in part, “Following the confirmed new cases of Coronavirus in Nigeria today, the State Government of Osun has announced that all public gatherings in the state under any banner or organisation, are banned. This in effect means there will be no church services with effect from March 22, 2020.
“This is in reaction to the increasing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infected individuals, and its gradual spread to other states of the country", the statement added.
The government, which initially placed a ban on high-density gatherings of more than 50 people, reviewed the scope of the ban to address current realities. As explained in the statement: “The State Government of Osun had initially announced a ban on public gatherings having 50 or more people, but today reviewed the position following the announcement of more confirmed cases by the Federal Ministry of Health”.
The Team commenced compliance monitoring as early as 8:00a.m. visiting religious organisations and relaxation joints in Osogbo metropolis.
It was gathered that the Task Force calmly dismissed the gatherings and meetings without any form of force or abuse, while also appealing to citizens and the management of the erring organisations to adhere strictly to the government's directive banning social or religious gathering till further notice.
Addressing the public during the monitoring exercise, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Pharmacist Siji Olamiju, said the operations were on the order of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola. He thus called on residents and visitors to ensure full compliance in the interest and benefits of all and sundry
"Anybody who fails to comply with directives of the state government, for sure will face the wrath of the law. We want to appeal to the general public to comply with the directives of the state government.” Olamiju said.