Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has announced the indefinite suspension of local government election billed to hold April 25, 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping through the country.
In a public broadcast Saturday in Abakaliki, the state capital, the governor also banned the use of okada in all parts of the state following the alleged smuggling of foreigners into the state by okada riders at the state borders, which the State Government closed down.
He said: “I know that the local government election is billed to hold on April 25 and the tenure of the present chairmen will end this May.
“There are a lot of activities that are supposed to take place in this period. But I am directing EBSEC to immediately convene a meeting of all service chiefs and chairmen of political parties and explain to them that all activities regarding this election is hereby suspended in line with the law of COVID-19.”
The governor, however, expressed dismay over the reckless means in which okada riders smuggle foreigners into the state, and flouting the closedown order of borders.
He said: “I feel with dismay how misguided elements hire motorcyclists popularly called Okada to enter Ebonyi State through track roads which contravenes the COVID-19 Law 2020.
“I have directed for immediate ban on the use of motorcycles (okada) in Ebonyi State. This directive is without exception and the ban is an all-time ban across the state.
“We are working tirelessly to ensure that this deadly Coronavirus does not enter our dear state and will not relent our efforts to ensure that the COVID-19 Pandemic does not enter Ebonyi.”
Umahi further revoked his earlier lift of ban on religious activities in the state, adding that Sunday service can only take place on Easter day after which, there will be no more religious activities until COVID-19 is totally eradicated.