Oyo Okays Crossover Service, Lagos Imposes N500,000 Fine Against Defaulters

As the last few hours of the year 2020 approaches, the governments of Oyo and Lagos states have announced extremely different measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the period.

Amid fears and indications that the second wave of COVID-19 has begun to spread in the country, Seyi Makinde,  the Governor of Oyo State, on Wednesday ‘magnanimously’ lifted the midnight curfew in the state.

The curfew was initially imposed as parts of measures to curtail the spread of the novel virus in the state.

The review of this curfew indicates that the Governor has given a go-ahead for crossover service that usually holds on December 31 in churches in the state.

A statement announcing this decision however noted that residents must adhere strictly to COVID-19 protocols.

“Following a review of the pronouncement of the Technical Team of the Task Force on COVID-19 in Oyo State on 29th December 2020, His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, FNSE, has magnanimously directed that the 12 midnight to 4 a.m. curfew be lifted,” Taiwo Adisa, Chief Press Secretary to Makinde said in the statement.

“The governor has also warned citizens and residents of Oyo State to ensure strict compliance with the guidelines, protocols and advisories as laid down by the OYO State COVID-19 Task Force aimed at limiting the transmission of the disease in our communities.”

“Secondly, he has directed that enforcement of these guidelines and protocols in accordance with the law will be applied as appropriate, enjoining individuals and organizations to comply and by so doing ensure that we all spread the joy of this season and not the virus.”

Lagos Goes Tough

While Governor Makinde of Oyo State okays the crossover service in the state, the government of Lagos State, however,  has imposed a 12 am – 4 am curfew on December 31 with a notice that any violator will be fined as high as N500,000. 

Gbenga Omotoso, Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy,  who announced the decision of the state government in an interview with The PUNCH noted that the most important thing is for residents of the state to take responsibility during the period.

“If you flout any of these rules, you can be fined. You will be taken to court and the magistrate will decide on the sanction. The fine can be between N20,000 and N500,000. It depends on the magistrate’s discretion,” Omotoso was quoted as saying. 

“But it is not just about punishing people. People are being advised to take responsibility. The regulations were rolled out as an advisory and people have been obeying while people who have disobeyed have faced the consequences.”

Omotoso said he was optimistic that churches follow the instructions of the state government.

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