Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade on Thursday began the distribution of face and nose masks produced at the state-owned Garment Factory to residents of Calabar.
The governor had on Wednesday issued an executive order that nobody will be allowed in public in the state without a nose mask.
In furtherance of that order, he promised to give out free nose masks to residents of the state.
Speaking with journalists shortly after distributing the masks to some persons himself, he said he will do everything humanly and materially possible to ensure that everyone living in the state is safe from COVID-19
His words: “Section 14 sub section II of our constitution says the primary purpose of government is the welfare and security of the citizens and as governor my primary responsibility is to protect the citizens either from physical or social harm and we have a case which is both.
“I cannot at this difficult moment when you are asking people to stay at home and you also task them to put on a mask at a cost but we as a government had to find a way to reduce the burden on the people.
“We are providing food to the vulnerable and less privileged. We would not distribute the food through politicians but we shall be using the World Bank register developed during our YESSO program to make sure food gets to all the vulnerable people in the state.
“Food will be delivered to the door step of the people because we do not want to cause a crowd.
“We have began the distribution of face and nose masks to our people because from 12am Friday: no mask, no movement. Nobody will move around the streets without a nose mask,” Ayade said.
Speaking further, he vowed to personally monitor the enforcement of government’s order that all exit and entry routes into the state be shut to both human and vehicular traffic.
He disclosed that his decision was informed by reports that the order was not being totally enforced by security agents