The National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Ebonyi on Friday took its advocacy and sensitisation campaign on increased risk communication of COVID-19 to the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
It also charged the executive members of the NURTW to take responsibility of observing all COVID-19 safety protocols to contain the spread of the pandemic.
The Ebonyi State Director, NOA, Dr Emma Abah, who led top officials of the agency in Abakaliki, said it was high time the union took ownership of the campaign, responsibility and observation of total compliance to the COVID-19 protocols.
Abah said that it was worrisome that many commuters travelled in buses without observing the COVID-19 health protocols which include the mandatory wearing of face mask, maintaining physical spacing, washing of hands, use of alcohol based hand sanitizer.
He added that non compliance and poor attitudinal behaviour led to the rise in the COVID-19 cases.
The director opined that it was more disheartening that many people have refused to accept that the pandemic is real but rather, regard it as a hoax, saying it is only for the prominent ones in the society.
He explained that it was against these beliefs of fake news, rumours, misconception and nonchalant attitude of Nigerians towards ending the pandemic that NOA embarked on the campaign.
Abah said that it had also engaged stakeholders including women groups, traditional institutions and religious organisations.
“Others include transporters, town development union executives and youth organisations to explain the reality of COVID-19 viral disease and the need for citizens to observe the protocol, enunciated by Nigeria Centre of Disease Control (NCDC).
“Opening of interstate boarders, worship centres among other activities that were relaxed as measures put in place by the Federal Government do not signify the end and the defeat of the pandemic in Nigeria.
“We will use this opportunity to start Operation Kick out COVID-19′ in the state and solicit support from NURTW members,`’ he said.
Responding, the Chairman, Ebonyi State Council of NURTW, Chief Anthony Ewa commended the ingenuity and sustained campaign by NOA to eliminate the pandemic.
Ewa said that the union commenced distribution of face masks on July 31, 2020 to people at motor parks.
He urged all residents of Ebonyi to join in the crusade to wage war against the pandemic and promised to replicate the campaign in all other sub units of NURTW in the state.