COVID-19: Saraki suspends weekly Ile Arugbo gathering for 30 days
Former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Thursday, announced that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world and increasing number of cases in Nigeria, especially based on the need for social distancing as one of the identified preventive measures, he has directed that the weekly gathering of aged women and youth in Ile-Arugbo for the social welfare programme be suspended immediately for the next one month.
Saraki who announced this on his twitter handle explained further that the aged people would not be left unattended as alternative arrangements have been made to ensure that the beneficial assistance rendered to each of the registered beneficiaries will be delivered to every aged citizen during the mandatory break.
Saraki stated that “following on-going developments across the world on the need for social distancing as one of the WHO-recommended preventive measures against the spread of #COVID19, I have directed that the weekly gathering of aged women and youth in Ile-Arugbo for the purpose of benefitting from the social welfare programme, which has been going on uninterrupted for the past four decades, be suspended immediately for the next one month.
“Arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the beneficial assistance rendered to each of the registered beneficiaries will be delivered to every aged citizen, while our programme counsellors and carers will be available by telephone throughout the period of suspension to advise our aged populace,” he said.
According to him, the decision to suspend the gathering is due to its size since the population at every meeting is always over 2000 and the category of the beneficiaries are the aged who are the most vulnerable to such a pandemic, adding that it is his belief that it is in line with global best practices to put such a gathering on hold at this point in time.
“It is important to point out that it is a gathering that is being suspended for the time being and not the social welfare programme itself, which will continue to advocate for and equip the aged with sanitary and safe nutrition materials.
“At this point, I urge all our people in Kwara State, in particular, and Nigeria, in general, to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this dangerous virus. We should all take the issue of frequent washing of our hands with soap very serious, avoid attending places with high-density gathering and ensure we immediately report to the authorities when we notice people down with the symptoms of #COVID19,” he advised.