Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said that his government’s directive on no access to public places without being vaccinated still stands.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government had announced plans to make it compulsory for residents to take COVID-19 vaccine and present proof before accessing public places from second week of September.
Obaseki, at a news briefing in Benin on Wednesday, also threatened to impose lockdown if residents failed to follow the directive and comply with COVID-19 protocols in order to halt the spread of the Delta variant of the pandemic.
He said: “The attention of Edo government has been drawn to an order by a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers directing government to maintain the status quo on the purported compulsory COVID-19 vaccination for citizens.
“To the best of our knowledge, the order is, at best, speculative and preemptive, as the scheduled date for the commencement of enforcement of the directive is the second week of September.
“We want to reiterate that our directive on vaccination stands.”
Obaseki urged those planning social, religious, political or business events after the second week of September to ensure that both themselves and their guests were not only vaccinated but possessed vaccination cards as proof.
“Anyone without this proof will not be granted access to crowded facilities,” he said.
The governor also said his government was commencing intensive enforcement of use of non-pharmaceutical interventions to curb the current spike in COVID-19 infections and deaths.
He said: “It must be stated that there is an obvious misconception that the directive issued by government was to make vaccination compulsory for all citizens.
“Although the governor has the power to make such an order under the Gazetted Quarantine Regulations, this directive is actually only a denial of access to public places of persons who chose not to be vaccinated.”
According to Obaseki, government’s overriding concern is the safety and health of the citizens.
He stated that the positivity rate for COVID-19 hovered between 15 per cent and 25 per cent, adding that deaths were consistently being recorded daily, with unvaccinated persons accounting for 100 per cent.