David Umahi, Ebonyi governor, has ordered government officials to cane persons who refuse to wear a face mask, as part of efforts to combat the novel Coronavirus in the state.
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Although the state is yet to record any case of infection, Umahi said the government is stepping up measures against the disease.
Addressing a meeting of stakeholders on Wednesday at the Government House in Abakaliki, the state capital, he disclosed that officials have been directed to flog residents coming out of their houses without wearing face masks, according to Channels Television.
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“Let me warn again that no face mask in Ebonyi State, no public movement.
“If you don’t have a face mask and you are out, I am directing the local government chairmen to use their men to inflict the minimum compliance which is the cane – the cane,” he was quoted as saying.
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Umahi explained the importance of residents wearing face masks, to prevent the spread of the deadly disease in the state.
According to him, the Nigerian army authorities have highlighted the order of roadblocks, to check the unnecessary influx of travellers into the state.
The governor pointed out that residents have a role to play, as well as security agencies, including the Ebonyi State Neighbourhood Security Watch.
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“No face mask, you will attract cane, it doesn’t matter who you are. If you are a big man and you are coming outside and you do not have a face mask, you will face trouble and the law is very clear about that,” he stressed.
He added: “We have also emphasised, in fact, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) has also warned that the order of blocking must be maintained.
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“The police must block the first point of the border, the army must give a safe distance and then block, then the other security agencies will now block and then after that, it is now the neighbourhood watch.”