Governor David Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State has revealed that motorcycle ban maybe lifted by 1st May, 2020, if no case of the deadly Coronavirus is recorded in the State.
Umahi had placed ban on all motorcycles in the State in a bid to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement made available to 9News Nigeria on Saturday by the Commissioner for Information, Barrister Orji Uchenna Orji, Umahi pleaded with all Okada riders and motorcycle owners to exercise more patience as he is re-evaluating the situation of the current ban on Motorcycles.
The statement reads in full;
In keeping with the commitment of the Governor of Ebonyi State, His Excellency Engr. Chief David Nweze Umahi FNSE, FNATE towards protecting Ebonyi people from the scourge of Corona Virus and his unflinching passion to preserve Ebonyi State on the part of dignity and prosperity, he has directed me to inform members of the public as follows:
- The Governor thanks all our leaders and stakeholders in Ebonyi State and Nigeria at large for all their sacrifice in our battle against this unfortunate Corona Virus pandemic. In particular, he appreciates His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State and State Executive Council Members , the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly and other House of Assembly Members, the Security Chiefs and the Security Agencies in Ebonyi State, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, all the National Assembly Members from Ebonyi State, the Chief Judge of Ebonyi State and the judiciary, Rachal Umahi Women, the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), the Commissioner for Health, the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (AE-FETHA), the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and all Religious bodies, the Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, the Director-General EBBC and EBBC Team, the Chairman of Traditional Rulers Council and all Traditional Rulers, the Chairmen of Local Government Areas, the Coordinators of Development Centres, all the Journalists in Ebonyi State and indeed all Ebonyians.
- The Governor again and again thanks all Ebonyians for their patience and appreciation of our modest achievements so far made on the war against Corona Virus, especially those who made donations either in cash or in material or both, to support the State Government in the fight against Covid-19 of which the total cash donation till date is about One Hundred and Twenty Million (N120,000,000.00).
- In consideration of the economic peculiarities of Ebonyi State, the Governor directed me to also inform the general public in the state that he has compassionately decided not to lock down the entire State considering our poverty index level. Those agitating that he should close down all markets have to re-evaluate their suggestions based on the facts that we have not recorded any index case of Covid-19 for now and therefore there is no need to entirely lock down our economic activities.
- He appeals to the Religious Bodies in Ebonyi State to exercise more patience and do more prayers for us as no other religious centre in Nigeria has been re-opened for any kind of religious activities.
- He further appeals to all Okada riders and motorcycle owners to exercise more patience as he is re-evaluating the situation of the current ban on Motorcycles. He believes that if we sustain our current efforts and we do not record any pandemic case by 1st of May, the State Government shall be lifting ban on the use of motorcycles and Okada riding in Ebonyi State, but shall exclude lifting of ban at all our borders within a distance of 300 meters radius of all our border locations. He believes this measure will definitely reduce the hardship being experienced by motorcycle owners and Okada riders in the State.
- For the entire people of Ebonyi State, the Governor thanks you immensely for your patience concerning total lock down between 7pm and 7am. Your total compliance is very encouraging to our Government and we appreciate you so much for this feat. The level of our people’s compliance is an indication of a great work by the Local Government Chairmen, the Coordinators of Development Centres, the Security Agencies and infact, all our Stakeholders in this battle against the Virus. The Governor is of the opinion that if by 1st of May , Ebonyi State records no case of Covid-19 , Government shall be lifting the 7am to 7pm total lock down in Ebonyi State but shall maintain total lock down only at the border areas within a distance of 300 meters radius
- Our total lock down at the border areas excluding the essential services will continue to remain in force especially with the recent development of community infection of the virus especially in South West and Northern Nigeria. The Governor appeals to Ebonyians to please put on their nose masks while leaving their homes. This pandemic is real and we must together do everything to protect ourselves.
- Our State has received One thousand, Eight hundred bags of 50Kg of rice and one truck of tomatoes from the Federal Government. We are seriously producing our own rice and other cooking items and we will start distributing to our people as soon as production is completed.
- The collation of names for the Federal Government’s Conditional Cash Transfer palliative is ongoing, polling unit by polling unit, and anybody that has any complain can report to the State Situation Room. We appeal to the public especially the politicians and the media not to circulate fake news and materials that could increase fear and panic to the public.
- The Governor commends and thanks many of the journalists in Ebonyi State for standing strongly with Ebonyi State Government in this unfortunate Pandemic situation in Nigeria and assures all journalists of Government’s continued support to carry out their professional duties unhindered. We also appeal to them to work with the State Government for the benefit of Ebonyi State and the entire Country.
- The Governor wishes to make it very clear that for whatever misgiving Government had against the two journalists who reported Ebonyi State negatively in the midst of this pandemic, it was never against the two Newspaper Houses but on the two individuals , and those individuals have since been forgiven; we have kept everything behind us.
- It would be recalled that both SUN and Vanguard Newspapers nominated the Governor of Ebonyi State for a distinguished award as the Best Governor of the Year 2019, and it is a show of wonderful working relationship with these two wonderful media Institutions.
- The Governor charged the Government Media Managers to follow all due process in seeking redress from the leadership of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the management of the media house, should there be a case of unprofessional conduct by the media in future.
- For the avoidance of doubt, no journalist is banned in entering any of Government premises in Ebonyi State, rather everyone of them is invited to partner with Government to win this war against Covid-19.
Ebonyi State remains in the mind of God. Amen.
Once again, accept the kind appreciation of the Governor of Ebonyi State.