The Special Taskforce Committee against COVID-19 of the Eti-Osa Bar Forum began its activities on Thursday, 16th April, 2020 by paying a Courtesy visit to the Area “J” Command Headquarters, Eti-Osa Local Government Headquarters and a partner private health institution, Dove Hospital, Badore, Ajah.
It will be recalled that Eti-Osa Local Government currently has the highest number of cases of COVID-19 with attendant signs of community transmission which could also spread to neighbouring local government areas including but not limited to Ibeju-Lekki Local government area. Both Eti-Osa and Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Areas are under the jurisdiction of the Eti-Osa Bar Forum.
The Special Taskforce Committee against COVID-19 of the Eti-Osa Bar Forum was constituted by the Executive Committee of the Forum to engage all stakeholders, both private and public institutions on all attendant challenges of the emergency ranging from Security, Healthcare support, Food and essential supplies support, Prison decongestion , Criminal Justice Assistance and Legal Aid and Human Rights Support.
It was in this wise that the Special Taskforce Committee against COVID-19 of the Forum called on interested lawyers within jurisdiction to join the kick-off activities of the Forum on Thursday, 16th April, 2020 by reporting at the Secretariat of the Forum, Suite 17, Amabec Plaza, Beside Eti-Osa High Court Building, Addo Road, Ajah, Lagos State from 11 am.
After a brief meeting of the Special Taskforce Committee against COVID-19, the Chairman of the Forum, Oladotun Hassan Esq. led the Taskforce, reinvigorated with new volunteers to the Area “J” Command Headquarters, Ajiwe, Ajah, Lagos State.
The Taskforce was well received at the Area “J” Command Headquarters, Ajiwe, Ajah by the Area Commander, ACP Gbolahan Odugbemi.
In his brief remarks, Oladotun Hassan Esq, the Chairman of the Forum highlighted the need to strengthen security for the residents within the jurisdiction of Area “J” Command Headquarters during the period of the lockdown. He also expressed the willingness of the Forum to work with Area “J” Command in this regard while imploring the Area Commander to bring together stakeholders in the communities to forge Security Stakeholders Forum wherein exchange of information on security can be made on regular basis.
In his response, ACP Gbolahan Odugbemi highlighted the importance of support of communities in the fight against insecurity. He raised the need for cross-level collaboration in combating the hydra-headed monster of cultism in the area. He welcomed the initiative of the Eti-Osa Bar Forum Special Taskforce Committee against COVID-19 and urged the Committee to work more on Public orientation.
Thereafter, the Taskforce proceeded to Eti-Osa Local Government Area Headquarters, Igbo-Efon, where it was received by the Secretary to the Local Government, Honourable Badaru.
Mr. Oladotun Hassan introduced the objectives of the Taskforce and affirmed the readiness of the Taskforce in working with the local government in combating COVID-19. In his response, the Secretary of the Local Government highlighted the challenges of the Local Government in terms of capacity in the battle against COVID-19. He informed of only one Contact-Tracing Centre at Ikota for Lagosians in Eti-Osa, Ibeju-Lekki and Epe Local Government Areas, which is grossly inadequate. He informed of the latest move of the Presidential Taskforce against COVID-19 that has resolved to have Contact-Tracing and Testing Centres in all local government areas, which means Eti-Osa Local Government is about to have a Centre it can call its own. He appreciated the visit of the Taskforce to the Eti-Osa Local Government Area Headquarters. The Taskforce moved to Dove Hospital, Badore , Ajah, Lagos State , one of the Medical Partners institutions of the Taskforce. The Taskforce was received by the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr. Oragui Phillip.
Dr. Oragui Phillip highlighted the reality of COVID-19 in Eti-Osa Local Government Area and expressed worry about emerging signs of community transmission . He stated that his health institution has been working with the National Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) in terms of contact referral.
Mr. Oladotun Hassan highlighted that going forward the assignment of the Taskforce is to advocate for government at all institutions to collaborate with willing private health institutions for use as Contact Tracing and Test Centres as well as Initial level Isolation Centres.