Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The traditional ruler of Umueri community in Anambra-East local government area of Anambra state, His Royal Majesty, Igwe Sir Ben Izuchukwu Emeka, says he has set up a task force to monitor compliance to government as well as community oders on restriction of movements and avoidance of social gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Igwe Emeka said it became necessary to put a task force in place to ensure that no one flouted the orders especially the order from Umueri community in order to prevent spread of the dreaded Covid19 in the area.
The traditional ruler who spoke with our correspondent in an exclusive interview, also disclosed that they have placed sanctions on burial, traditional marriage and all other ceremonies that may warant the gathering of people, which he saw as a contravention of government’s total lockdown order.
The monarch said, “I have gone ahead to make a law that nobody should do burial or any ceremony that will attract many people. What we have also said is that if you have already fixed a date for burial ceremony before the coronavirus came, you can go ahead and bury the dead but without ceremonies.”
According to him, “I have also gone ahead to set up task force to go round the community to make sure nobody is violating governnent order and the community order. But so far, so good my people have been law-abiding.”
He said he has bought and distributed sanitizers together with other preventive materials to his subjects and equally made them understand that coronavirus is real; that they should maintain simple personal hygiene and also observe social distancing during interpersonal relations.
Igwe Emeka however charged his people to be prayerful and trust in God, stressing that nobody from Umueri community and Anambra state will die from the Covid-19 virus even as he urged the state government to intensify efforts on the contact-tracing of those who may have had interactions with the index case to avert further spread of the virus in the state.
Igwe Emeka said he was in full support of the total lockdown order by the state government, noting that the lockdown would also help to trace those who had contact with the index case as symptoms of Covid-19 would have manifested within the lockdown period.
He equally observed that the Easter celebrations were done with mixed feelings as people had no freedom of movements and many churches were under lock and key, pointing out that it was a trying period for Christians but what is required is the understanding of all and sundry to win the battle against Covid-19.
The traditional ruler however expressed profound gratitude to Governor Willie Obiano for the stimulus package he brought to Umueri community to mitigate the effects of the sit-at-home order occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.