Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum; has said that the three-week lockdown be relaxed to enable farmers, traders and artisans resume their daily activities to survive coronavirus and insurgency.
According to him, residents’ survival; are to ‘prevent and overcome’ decade long Boko Haram insurgency and coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
that claimed many lives and property.
Zulum announced the lockdown relax on Monday while holding a closed-door meeting with Islamic and Christian clerics at Government House, Maiduguri.
“The three-week lockdown in the state; will soon be relaxed,” he declared, adding that it could allow farming communities and people relying on subsistence activities for their survivals.
He further disclosed that subsistence farmers, traders and artisans engage in daily activities as their means of income.
While consulting with clerics during the meeting, Zulum said: “Government has decided to relax this lockdown. I have called you to seek your suggestion on how we can contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic during the relaxation period.
“Borno is an agrarian society and with the setting in of the rainy season, farmers must be allowed to go to their farmlands,” noting that while those that do menial jobs for their sustenance should also be allowed seek for their daily bread.
While appreciating Christian community for supporting state government comply with lockdown, he urged them to provide answers to; how social distancing could be maintained and other measures taken against COVID-19 pandemic.
He told the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that; “Since I held a consultation with the Islamic clerics to hear their suggestions, it was only right to hear from the Christians.
“The Christians also do hold their own services in Churches,” noting that he shall continue to have regular interface with them.
The Borno state CAN Chairman, Bishop William Mohammed Naga appreciated the Zulum’s pledge to submit feedback on their observations and suggestions to relax lockdown.
He also thanked the Governor for engaging Christians by seeking their opinion, pointing out that they are proud and happy to be involved in the decision making of the government.
“We’ll surely respond to you; Excellency on measures prevent and overcome COVID-19 pandemic by today (Wednesday),” he assured the governor.