Press Conference At ASATU Secretariat Government House, Awka By Anambra State Association Of Town Unions (ASATU) In The Light of COVID-19 Pandemic And Consequent Directives And Restrictions In Nigeria
kicks against shipping of strange persons from the north to Anambra state and southeast.
That the entire world, Nigeria inclusive, is being devastated by covid-19 caused by coronavirus is no longer news to anybody. What is news, on daily basis, however, is how the world is responding to the pandemic. Different nations are trying different approaches to contain the plague which has already claimed several lives across the globe and brought the global economy to a halt. It is a serious matter. Covid-19 is real.
To this extent, ASATU wishes to commend the efforts of the government of Anambra State to contain the covid-19 pandemic in the state. It is noteworthy that Anambra state had actually gone ahead to put relevant structures on ground against the pandemic before the disease eventually arrived the state.
To the same extent, we commend our health workers whore doing their utmost best for general good, in very difficult circumstances. We commend Ndi Anambra for their understanding and cooperation with the government in the fight against covid-19. Were not forgetting the public spirited individuals and organizations who have supported the fight against the covid-19 in Anambra state through donations of palliatives and other things. May God reward all of you with good measures. There can be no doubt that God has been there for all of us in this trying period and we pray that He will continue to show us mercy and shower us with more protection from this evil.
The Anambra State Association of Town Unions, on behalf of all the communities of Anambra State wishes to express our disgust and total disappointment with ongoing wicked efforts by some desperate citizens of this country whore now engaged in the wicked acts of shipping strange persons from Northern Nigeria to the South of the country,
Anambra State and the Southeast inclusive. Its no longer news that in recent weeks, truckloads of persons, who may be carriers of covid-19, have been intercepted by security operatives in various parts of the Southeast; in Enugu, Abia, Anambra, etc. Just yesterday, a truck with registration number MGR 148XA was intercepted here in Awka loaded with no less than 33 persons hidden in between goats. The driver of the truck said they were from Plateau State, going to Onitsha. This is completely unacceptable to Ndi Anambra and the rest of the Southeast and it must stop forthwith.
Whosoever that is or are behind this wickedness must refrain from doing so immediately as the communities of Anambra State can no longer fold our hands and watch on as our lives are being threatened by the mischievous inclinations of some unpatriotic citizens who can go as far as hiding human beings between animals and bags of cement or whatever and smuggle them from the Northern parts of the country down to Anambra State and the Southeast. Whatever be the intentions of these unscrupulous individuals, we consider them most ungodly and totally unacceptable.
Without sounding unmindful of the constitutional provisions for freedom of movement in Nigeria, were equally expected to obey lawful directives of the federal and state governments especially, in times of emergency as now in this fight against the covid-19 pandemic. The federal government of Nigeria had announced closure of all inter state borders across Nigeria and banned all non essential travels between the states in the country. These restrictions are still in force. The emergency measures have been put in place to contain the spread of covid-19 across the country and save lives. To this extent, the argument by some individuals that Nigerians have the right to go anywhere in Nigeria at any time is dead on arrival.
We wish to warn that should this callous business continue of shipping strange persons, Almajirai or not, from the north or elsewhere to Anambra State in light of covid-19 restrictions, the communities of Anambra State will be left with no choice than to confront the situation with all the seriousness it deserves. We can no longer take it as childs play.
Accordingly, we call on the federal government and the security agencies to urgently look deeper into this ugly situation with a view to fishing out those who perpetrate this wicked sabotage and to bring them to book and stop this ugly trend. We in Anambra state see the ugly trend as a well articulated mission of some persons to cause fear and panic in the state and, in fact, to weaken the fight against covid-19 in Anambra state and the Southeast. We see it as a deliberate inclination to rubbish the efforts of the governments of Anambra state and, indeed, the efforts of the government in the Southeast to contain the spread of the deadly virus in the region. We reject this sabotage and we hope that our message is clear.
At this juncture, we wish to express our understanding of the conditions of Ndi Anambra who are not able to enter the state for now due to covid19 restrictions. It is a difficult situation, no doubts, but it’s more important that we stay alive to tell the story of this horrible plague that has turned the world upside down. We, therefore, appeal to all of you to be patient and remain safe wherever you are so that in the end we all will be alive to glorify God by the time covid-19 is over.
Finally, all due regard being had to the lapses in the activities of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 and the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), ASATU wishes to commend, in general terms, the efforts of the federal government, so far, in the fight against covid-19.
We wish to appeal to all Nigerians, Ndi Anambra in particular, to continue observing the covid-19 safety regulations of wearing of face masks, social distancing, ban on inter state movements and the dusk to dawn curfew. It is not forever. By Gods grace we shall win this war against a strange disease and life will surely bounce back in full.
God bless Nigeria!
God bless Anambra State!!
ASATU Kwezuonu .. Ikenga Anambra State!!!
Chief Alex Onukwue