The Ekiti Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, has dismissed claims in some quarters that drinking local gin, popularly known as ogogoro, or local herbs can prevent coronavirus.
Egbeyemi urged residents of the state to adhere strictly to COVID-19 protocols, personal hygiene and always clean their environment so as not to contract the disease.
The deputy governor, who stated this on Saturday, while monitoring the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in Ido/Osi Local Government area, also frowned at the refusal of many residents to use face masks since the easing of lockdown in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Egbeyemi was joined during the exercise by the Head of Service, Mrs Peju Babafemi; Chairman of Ido/Osi Local Government, Mr Ayodimeji Adeola and other senior government functionaries.
The deputy governor, who stopped over at Ayetoro, Usi and Ido-Ekiti to enlighten residents on COVID-19, enjoined them to always wear their face masks, wash their hands regularly, avoid crowded areas and observe social distancing so as not to fall victims of the disease.
Egbeyemi said it was incredible that some individuals, especially youths, would believe that drinking ‘Ogogoro’ could prevent COVID-19, maintaining that only obedience to safety rules could guard against it.
Describing such belief as mere fallacy, he urged residents to cooperate with the Dr Kayode Fayemi-led administration to defeat the disease and ensure a healthy populace.
Egbeyemi, who advised youths against indulging in drug abuse, also urged them to always participate in the monthly environmental sanitation as a form of community service.
“COVID-19 is real and we have heard about many people it has killed, including very distinguished and prominent Nigerians who contracted the disease but didn’t survive it.
“Let’s follow the COVID-19 rules and protocols of regular hand washing, wearing of face masks, avoiding crowds and observance of physical and social distancing.
“Drinking ‘ogogoro’ or local herbs can’t prevent COVID-19. Such a belief is a fallacy. Let’s obey all the rules, including wearing face masks, which many people have abandoned since the lockdown was relaxed. It is for our own good,” he said.
He commended the youth in Usi-Ekiti, who used the period to engage in the rehabilitation of a major community road, urging the council chairman to assist in the construction of the road.
Speaking on his assessment of the exercise, Egbeyemi said there was an improvement in Ido-Ekiti, the council headquarters, unlike the previous months, urging residents to sustain the tempo.
The deputy governor condemned the rate at which some commercial motorcyclists in Ado, the state capital, defied the restriction, warning that punitive action would be taken against them in subsequent exercises.
NAN reports that some commercial motorcyclists met on the roads were turned back, while residents engaging in buying and selling were forced to close shop till after the exercise.
NAN also reports that the towns visited by the monitoring team included Osi-Ekiti, Igbole-Ekiti, Ido-Ekiti, Usi-Ekiti, Ayetoro-Ekiti, Ora-Ekiti, Aaye-Ekiti and Ifaki-Ekiti, all in Ido/Osi council area.