Independence Day: Ayade cancels public celebrations over COVID-19

By Emmanuel Ayade

Cross River State Governor, Sir Ben Ayade has canceled the annual parade and public celebration of Nigeria’s independence anniversary as the country marks sixty years of nationhood. 

A statement issued in Calabar on Wednesday by Mr Christian Ita, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, said the cancellation was as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the need to avoid community transmission that is often associated with large gatherings. 

While regretting the development, it said the governor was more concerned about protecting the people from the pandemic than holding any public spectacle in celebration of the independence anniversary.

The statement, however, urged Cross Riverians who may want to celebrate the day, to do so in their homes.

“For those who may wish to celebrate the day at home, I urge them to do so observing all the COVID-19 protocols and other safety measures as announced by government,” the statement quoted the governor as saying.

Nigerians, according to the statement, are also enjoined not to lose faith in the country in spite of the many challenges they are facing.

On the resumption of schools,  the statement maintained that it was the need to protect the people of the state from the pandemic that informed the delayed announcement of a date for resumption of schools in the state.

“Cross River State is following the clinical procedures of Covid-19 protocols in order not to expose our kids to coronavirus. Government will only announce a resumption date when it considers it safe for our children to return to school,” the statement read in parts.

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