COVID-19: Rivers, Kogi close entry, exit points  

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From James Azania, Lokoja and Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt

Rivers and Kogi states on Wednesday ordered the closure of entry and exit points to combat the pandemic.

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike said air, sea and land routes would be shut with effect from 6 am today.

The governor said: “It is with gratitude to God that I announce to you that our state would have been infected with coronavirus yesterday (Tuesday), but for the vigilance of security agents who, acting on a tip-off, prevented an infected person from boarding a flight from Abuja to Port Harcourt.

“The infected person beat all security measures that were put in place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and was to sneak into Port Harcourt before security agents stopped her.”

He said the State Security Council met and took the decision to shut entry and exit points.

“The council has, therefore, taken the following painful decisions. With effect from 6 pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020, the Port-Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa will not be open to air traffic.

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“While we may not have the right to stop flights from entering Port Harcourt, we cannot allow anybody coming from the airport to enter our state.

“We are confident that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other federal agencies will cooperate with us.

“All land and sea borders will be closed. Vehicular movements in an out of the state have been banned.

“In essence, no vehicle will leave Rivers State for any other state and no vehicle will be allowed to enter the state.

“Let me reiterate that the situation we are facing requires drastic measures because coronavirus has ravaged many countries.

“Security agencies have been empowered to strictly enforce this directive. There will be no room for sacred cows because the virus is no respecter of persons,” the governor said.

Wike called for the support and understanding of everyone living and doing business in Rivers.

“At this time in our national life, we must shun primordial sentiments and face the reality on the ground.

“I am confident that God being on our side, the temporary hardship we are facing today will come to an end very soon.”

Also on Wednesday, Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Communication Kingsley Fanwo, ordered the immediate closure of all entry points, including land and waterways.

The statement read: “All entry points into Kogi State (land and waterways) are now closed. Entry and transit by any vehicle are subject to successful health check of all passengers.

“All transport companies, transport unions and terminal operators must keep a travel manifest for inbound and outbound passengers, especially verified phone numbers.

“They must also provide hand-wash stands with soap in the garages and hand sanitizers in the buses. ”

Oyo plans restrictions

Oyo State Government is also considering impose travel restrictions.

Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA) Executive Chairman, Dr Akin Fagbemi, said: “All entry points into Oyo State (land and airways) may soon be closed.