by Damilola Agekameh
Ogun State Government has announced the closure of all borders with neighbouring states and the international border with the Republic of Benin.
States in the South-West including Lagos and Oyo with high COVID-19 cases would be affected by the border closure.
The government, which said this on Saturday, explained that the closure would be effected at midnight on Sunday, 29th March 2020.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kunle Somorin, the government said the border closure would be in force for two weeks in the first instance.
The statement read, “With this restriction order, movement in and out of the state has been banned as a further measure to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
“The state is constrained to effect border closure to stem and flatten the curve of the spread of the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, not only in the state but in the country and the West African sub-region.
“The position of Ogun State is peculiar. It not only shares an international border with the Republic of Benin, but it also does so with all other states in the South West (except Ekiti), including Lagos State, which has understandably recorded the highest number of infections in the country largely because it hosts the busiest air and seaports and it’s the nation’s economic capital.
“The border closure will not only be beneficial to Ogun State but the national efforts to curtail and contain the virus. Lessons from other climes strongly indicate that closure of borders has the potential to drastically flatten the curve of spread whilst unrestricted movement portends grave dangers.”
The government, however, clarified that the only exceptions to the interstate restrictions are vehicles conveying personnel involved in essential services such as security agencies, health workers, food and medical items and petroleum products.