The Association of Local Government of Nigeria(ALGON), Oyo State Chapter, on Sunday said its members are ready as elected representatives of the people in the 68 councils and 660 wards in the state to cooperate with the State Government in mobilizing the people in the rural and semi-urban areas, and to be part of grassroots initiative, focusing on working to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement signed by the association’s chairman, Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, ALGON appealed to the people not to see Coronavirus as urban and elitist pandemic, urging the people to obey all the directives and medical advices from the government and its medical team.
The statement read in part: “Governor Seyi Makinde should be more vigorous and systematic in the government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic in Oyo State in order to contain the spread of the disease. This time calls for critical thinking to mobilize the citizens particularly at the grassroots into action.
“ALGON acknowledges the renewed effort of the governor after the initial lethargy, but we wish to advise that Covid-19 is not an urban based pandemic as the commendable effort of the State Government has suggested.
“Since Covid-19 has no frontier, we appeal to Mr. Governor to activate grassroots medical and information machinery for prevention and identification of cases at the Local Government level where the vast majority of our people live but with many of them bringing their farm products to urban markets to sell and earn income.
“This is one of the ways for contact, infection and transmission of the disease from urban to rural, and from rural to rural areas.
“The closeness of Oyo State to Lagos State, with the highest number of index cases so far, where Oyo State traders and grassroots farmers engage in business makes the need to focus on the people at the grassroots at this time more important than before.
“Meanwhile, there is also a need for the Government to make test kits and other testing materials available at the grassroots level. This because it is only the elites,the well-to-do people and celebrities in the society that are having accessibility to these materials.”
Abass- Aleshinloye urged residents of the state to play safe and be coronavirus free.
Recall that Oyo State Government and ALGON have been at loggerheads over the administration of the 68 councils in the state, with pending court cases at the State High Court and Court of Appeal.