Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has ordered the deployment of the over 800 recently trained Police Constabularies to begin to arrest people without facemasks in public, beginning from today, for prosecution at the Mobile Courts set up for that purpose.
The Constabularies, according to the state government, would be deployed across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state to enforce strict compliance with the state’s regulations to check the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in its second, but deadlier wave.
Obaseki, who warned that defaulters would be prosecuted and those found guilty convicted by mobile courts set up across the state, added that the state government was strengthening measures to ensure a halt in the spread of the virus.
One of the measures he noted was the compulsory wearing of facemasks in public stressing that those convicted by the mobile courts would be regarded as ex-convicts and recorded as such.
“We are strengthening enforcement of COVID-19 regulations in the state. Those who disobey the regulations would be made to pay fines and undertake community service. The over 800 police constabularies who are stationed in each ward in the 18 local governments in the state as well as other security agencies have been charged with enforcing the regulations,” he said.
According to the governor, “the battle against Covid-19 involves all of us taking responsibility for our actions. We have all it takes to win this fight and together we shall overcome. We must role model best practices by wearing facemask consistently and properly; avoiding closed spaces, crowded places, close contacts and ensuring we protect our parents, grandparents and very senior citizens who are more likely to die if they contract Covid-19.”
On his party, the Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, said there would be enforcement teams in markets, parks, and other public places to ensure strict compliance, adding that the Police Constabulary structure would be mobilized to ensure that defaulters were punished accordingly.
Both men spoke during a Press Conference in Government House, Benin City, at the weekend.