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Makurdi residents flouting COVID-19 protocol

A resident, Uchechi Israel, said he ordinarily had the face mask in his pocket whenever he was out of his house

Residents of Makurdi, Benue State, are not complying with the COVID-19 protocol of wearing face mask in public places despite warnings by the police to clamp down on offenders.

Our correspondent observed at market places, some churches, social gatherings and motor parks that most people did not wear face masks.

A resident, Uchechi Israel, said he ordinarily had the face mask in his pocket whenever he was out of his house but didn’t wear it as everywhere he went people were not wearing any.

“Besides, no law enforcement agent has ever insisted that I use the face mask at public places. Everyone does what he likes so why should I be different,” he said.

Also, Lucy Elijah said the face mask was in her bag but could not give any reason for not wearing it except for the fact that “it makes me uncomfortable.”

Similarly, Jude Igbor, said he found  it very difficult to breathe whenever he wore his face mask and as such he didn’t wear it.

“It isn’t practicable to wear this (face mask) all time with this harsh sunny weather in Benue. So I don’t want to wear it,” Igbor added.

Although, there were notices in some offices, restaurants and parks indicating, ‘No face mask, No entry,” there was no indication of people being turned back for not complying with the protocol in such places.

But, there was strict adherence to the wearing of the face mask in most government offices in Makurdi metropolis at the point of entry.

At the moment, the state government is yet to begin full enforcement of the law as the chairman of the COVID-19 Committee and Deputy Governor, Engr. Benson Abounu, said they were studying the regulation passed into law by the federal government before doing the needful in terms of arrest.

However, the Benue Police command had a few days ago said it would begin full enforcement of the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 signed into law by President  Muhammadu Buhari.

Spokesperson of the command, DSP Catherine Anene, said the enforcement was in compliance with the directives of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.

Anene added that the Commissioner of Police, Mukaddas Garba, has directed officers and men of the Command to carry out the order immediately.