The Kaduna State Government has warned that henceforth traditional rulers will be sanctioned for any violation of the quarantine order in their communities.
The Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, gave the warning in a state broadcast on Thursday.
Balarabe said: “Community structures, from the Ward Head, Village Head and District Head, will be held accountable for violations of the quarantine order by people within their domains.
“Right now, we are collating reports of compliance to my directive that only sellers of food and other essential items should open for business, and compliance to non-hike of prices of food items.
“Appropriate actions will be taken according to findings.”
The deputy governor threatened that “if necessary, the Government would invite the military to complement the efforts of the police in enforcing the quarantine order across the state.”
According to her: “From Thursday, government will go beyond advice, warnings and threats, to the vigorous enforcement of the order.”
She said she personally saw violations of the directive on social distancing on the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway on Wednesday, revealing that commercial vehicles were loaded to the brim, adding: “I had to order such erring drivers to drop off some passengers.”
The deputy governor also lamented that “safe corridor provided for travellers has been serially abused since the lockdown was imposed, on the pretext that these travelers were on transit, people from elsewhere have been coming into Kaduna in droves in violation of the quarantine order.”
Balarabe, who condemned the breach, said that she had “directed that all entry points into the state should be closed and only authorised vehicles should be given passage,” adding that “persons without valid passes have been strongly advised to cancel travel plans to Kaduna State.
“All unauthorised vehicles would be turned back at our borders and those who insist in coming into Kaduna State will spend 14 days in a designated isolation facility.”
She said security agencies have been stationed at the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway, Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Road, Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Road, Kachia Road, Bwari-Jere-Kagarko Road, Gumel-Kwoi-Keffi Road, Jos-Manchok Road and Zaria-Funtua Road, including all other entry points to block entrance into the State.
The deputy governor reiterated the ban on congregations, including prayers in mosques and churches, would continue to be enforced.
She emphasised that “going back on the lockdown at this point will make us lose all the gains that have been recorded so far.”
According to Balarabe, if the lockdown is faithfully implemented and people observe preventive measures handed down by health care professionals, Kaduna State will have fewer new case of COVID-19.
“However, if we waver, the state will be faced with the worst case scenario and we will have to deal with new cases exceeding 50,000. I am certain no one will want that to happen,” Balarabe revealed.
The deputy governor added that anytime the state records a new case, “it sets us back by 14 days!”
Balarabe, however, said the Kaduna State Government will continue to review the situation and make adjustments as the situations dictate.