THE Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria, OMPAN, Cross River State chapter has called on the Cross River State Government to reinvigorate the fight against COVID-19 lockout in the state.
The association made the call in a communiqué after its monthly meeting held in Calabar on Thursday.
The Communiqué signed by its state Chairman, Comrade Efio-Ita Nyok stated that the call has become imperative following the complete noncompliance with basic safety rules like wearing of face masks, use of hand sanitizers and physical distance by majority of the population in the state.
“Ninety percent of residents in the state no longer use personal protective equipment and go about their businesses with an air of nonchalance which speaks volumes of what might befall the state in the event of an outbreak of the pandemic in the state”.
OMPAN observed that the state sits on a time bomb as the borders and points of entry into the state which used to be closely monitored have now become open for free entry and exit into the state.
“Reports from across the state shows that movement into and out of the state no longer witness scrutiny or restriction as was the case when the government announced the lockout against the pandemic”.
The association said figures globally indicate that the rate of infection is on the increase and even in Nigeria there is a spike in the level of infection and the state having not witnessed any case should be sustained through continued and stringent lockout effort.
“Initiating a policy without close and continued monitoring is like kicking a ball down the road and letting it rolls without being guided to a logical direction and that is not going to stop the infection from entering the state and causing havoc”. OMPAN noted.
The association also called on the state government to call on the contracting firm handling the construction of the Tinapa-Odukpani junction roundabout road to expedite action to put pay to the frequent motor accidents that are being recorded along that road.
“There have been records of frequent motor accidents particularly trucks crashing on that road and obstructing free movement and causing avoidable hardship on road users.”
The association stated that though rainfall is on the increase but measures should be taken by the contractor to avoid frequent crashes on the road.
The umbrella body for online media practitioners in the state particularly noted with profound reservations the unconscionable barbarity of the Special Adviser to the Governor of Cross River on Forestry Security, Thomas Obi Tawo, popularly called “General Iron” who reportedly burnt Nigerians in Boki LGA recently (with some allegedly dead) for suspectedly being witches and wizards whom he said he saw in his dream fighting with him. OMPAN called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the so-called General.
“We note with reservations the barbarity of the Special Adviser to the state Governor on Forestry Security, Thomas Obi Tawo, who recently burnt some Nigerians indigenous to Boki for suspectedly seeing them in his dream fighting with him.
“It beggars the mind that this type of elements are still living with us in society and more still, he is still an appointee of a state governor who had claimed to be a politician with ethics.
“OMPAN is therefore calling for the immediate arrest and prosecution of SA Tawo. Such entities, if convicted should be kept faraway from society”, the statement concluded.
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