… Asks team to tighten IDP camps

… Schools to close in one week

Agency Report

Gov. Zulum (middle) during the inauguration

Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, has inaugurated a high-powered response team for prevention and control of coronavirus under the state deputy governor, Umar Kadafur, as chairman and the state commissioner of health as secretary. The team has started working and is to reconvene on Saturday.

The inauguration took place at Musa Usman Secretariat in Maiduguri on Friday afternoon after Governor Zulum received a technical response plan adopted by a multi-stakeholder group made up of UN agencies, federal establishments and affected ministries which met with the Chief of Staff, Dr Babagana Wakil, on Thursday during which they came up with a response plan after critical review of the state.

The response team which is to fully implement the response plan, has the chief of staff as vice chairman with members that include senior officials of the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, UN-OCHA, IOM, ICRC, international Non-Governmental Organizations (iNGOs) involved in humanitarian interventions, heads of Maiduguri International Airport, Nigerian Immigration Service, Borno State Emergency Management Agency and commissioners of education, higher education, information, transport, finance, religious affairs and local government and emirate affairs. The team also has two special advisers on sustainable development, partnerships and humanitarian affairs and that of public relations and strategy.

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Governor Zulum thanked members of the team for the work they have already started but tasked them to ensure that very firm measures were deployed to tighten access to IDP camps where one case can trigger wild fire effect with adverse consequences.

Zulum also tasked the commissioner of education and the chairman of the state universal education to change the academic calendar by bringing exams backward so that schools can close within one week instead of the schedule to close in two weeks time based on the academic calendar.

“If we are to close schools, what do we do with IDP camps which is far less organized than schools? I am aware that our schools have two weeks to close but we should change the calendar and close in one week. But even at that, we must take serious measures in all schools and more importantly in our IDP camps and in land border communities where people can come into Nigeria through some of our local government areas,” Zulum said.