The Northern States Governors Forum has stated that it might not be possible for them to lock down the northern states, even as the deadly coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country.
Meeting on Monday via a conference call, the forum’s Chairman, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, shared experiences on measures adopted by individual states to deal with the disease.
A statement by Lalong’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Macham Makut, on Monday, stated that rather than locking down the state, the governors have decided to put preventive measures into place to curb the spread of the disease in the region.
The statement said,
“They (northern governors) agreed that at the moment, each state would adopt the measure suitable to its setting because total lockdown of the region will come at a very high cost since most of its citizens are farmers who need to go to farms since the rains have started.
“Another issue discussed by the northern governors was the issue of palliatives from the Federal Government where they regretted that so far, no state in the region had received a dime as special allocation despite the fact that some of them have recorded cases while others are making frantic efforts to prevent any outbreak, as well as prepare against any eventuality.
“This they observed has eaten deep into the pockets of the states as they have spent a lot of money already and may not be able to sustain this for a long time. Since prevention is better than cure, they canvassed that the Federal Government grant them some special funds just as it has done to other states.
“The northern governors lamented that the region has no testing centre, which is very disturbing. They resolved to again liaise with the Federal Government to ensure that each state at least gets one testing centre while highly populated ones get two.