Hours after the Federal Government directed the reopening of schools to allow the resumption of final year primary and secondary school classes, the Oyo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has lauded the state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, for maintaining the pacesetting profile of the state.
The PDP, in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Engr. Akeem Olatunji, stated that the decision of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to allow the resumption of certain classes was a complete adoption of the proposals earlier announced by the government of Oyo State, two weeks ago.
The statement added that the Federal Government also deserves commendations for adopting Makinde’s well-thought-out policy, adding that it was a confirmation that the Federal Government “does not feel too big to adopt well-thought-out policies and steps already taken by Oyo State in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to Olatunji, the directive of the Federal Government came a two weeks after the Oyo State government had directed that schools be open to teachers, who are to put some guidelines in place across schools ahead of the resumption of students in Primary 6, Junior Secondary School III and Senior Secondary School III.
He added that though the state government’s decision was criticised by opposition party members and even a minister of the Federal Government, it is heart-warming that the Federal Government has come around to adopt the policy, a development which he said showed that the Federal Government recognised the soundness of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force.
Olatunji, who stated that this is not the first time the Federal Government would be adopting the Oyo State template in the fight against COVID-19, pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari announced partial lockdown, adopting the dusk to dawn curfew approach put in place by Governor Seyi Makinde at the inception of the COVID-19 challenge in the state.
He also lauded the Federal Government for retaining the curfew in line with the Oyo State government example.
The PDP advised members of the APC in Oyo State, whom it accused of speaking before thinking most of the times, to submit themselves to the tutelage of the APC-controlled Federal Government, which “never shies away from copying the Oyo State government when need be on any positive policy or programme.”
The statement read: “We in the Oyo State PDP commend Governor Seyi Makinde for living up to expectation in setting the pace for others and even the Federal Government. We also commend the Federal Government for the initiative it took to announce that schools will be reopened to students in graduating classes.
“We see the initiative as bold because it was an adoption of a policy already put in place by the Oyo State government and the Federal Government did not consider political correctness in following a policy that has proved to be well-thought-out.
“It will be recalled that the Oyo State Task Force announced two weeks ago that teachers should resume to schools on June 29 to put in place hand wash points and other protocols ahead of the resumption of students in terminal classes a week after.
“The government had also gone ahead to raise a special task force to monitor the preparedness of the schools, issuing several guidelines on wearing face masks and sitting arrangement for the students in line with the COVID-19 protocols.
“Governor Seyi Makinde has, since the beginning of the COVID-19 challenge, been saying that the Oyo State Task Force on COVID-19 has been following science, logic and data in its fight against the virus. The latest directive of the Federal Government, which is an adoption of the school reopening policy that one of its ministers criticised, has proved Governor Makinde right.”