Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has called on the people not to let their guard down with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic as they roll out their drums of festivities, advocating on the need to follow the simple but effective protocols aimed at curtailing the spread of the virus.
The Governor, who stated this on his Christmas broadcast to the state, warned of the dangers such carelessness may bring forth especially in view of the mutation of a new variant, Omicron.
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He warned that at a time the world thought it had turned a corner with the virus, the Omicron variant has returned the world to the starting point.
“The simple protocols of social distancing, regular washing of hands with liquid soaps, the wearing of facemask, use of hand sanitisers etc. plus the robust healthcare facilities we have provided, had helped us a great deal in stemming the spread of this virus when it first appeared on our shores. We should remain committed to doing same with this new variant.
“We do not intend to impose another round of lock- down. This will however, depend on how we obey the protocols. This is a serious matter and should be treated as such,” he declared.
The Governor stated that Nigerians should use the season of the birth of Jesus Christ to banish all ancient animosities and celebrate their oneness and unity, development and the strides being made collectively as a State and as a people.
“It is a season of joy and thankfulness to God for holding us together as a people and as a State, in spite of the economic difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which unfortunately has now mutated to the Delta and Omicron variants respectively,” he stated.
According to Governor Emmanuel, Christmas; “is a season of hope, of our determination to continue to forge ahead and deliver on our campaign promises; to leave this State better than we met her, and to proclaim with certainty that the Akwa Ibom story will not be reversed, that the things which had hitherto defined us negatively as a State and as a people shall be permanently cancelled and erased, and it will be Forward Ever Backward Never.”
The Governor warned that anyone, who, for selfish political purposes, wants to reverse the prevailing peace in the state must be rejected.