Kano State government has hinted that COVID-19 came with its new behaviors, and will require equally behaviours on the part of Kano citizens to fight it.
“We thought we should also get new strategy to deal with those new behaviours” of the virus, the governor said in a press release dropped by his chief press secretary, Abba Anwar, recently.
“That is why we are coming up with our Kano State Infectious Diseases Regulation 2020 to take care of those new public behaviours,” Anwar quoted the governor to have said.
The new regulation, which was signed by the governor on 15th April, 2020 contains provisions that the government believes would assist in responding to the global pandemic.
The state attorney-general and commissioner for justice, Ibrahim Mukhtar explained to Judicial Sketch how and why the regulation was promulgated by the governor.
“At the national level, we have the Quarantine Act, which is an Act of the National Assembly, and it gives the president the power in case of any pandemic that affects any part of the country, to quarantine the affected place, to restrict movements as a means of curtailing the pandemic”, Mukhtar began.
The president last week exercised his powers under that Act to declare Abuja, Lagos and Ogun locked down.
Mukhtar said “The same Act makes a provision to the effect that if the president failed, refused or neglected to exercise the power in respect of any state, the governor of that state, if he believes there is the need to exercise such power, can exercise the same power given to the president in his state.
“Now, in the case of Kano State, there is the Public Health Law which is part of Laws of Kano State 1991, and it is similar to the Quarantine Act. Its aim is to regulate all kinds of infectious diseases and pandemic situations so that they don’t spread and kill a large population of people.
Mukhtar added that “This Law gives power to the governor of Kano State to make regulations that will support the implementation of the Public Health Law, and aid the elimination of any pandemic within the state.
“Now, we have a pandemic that has been declared to be dangerous and infectious by the president. With that declaration, and considering the rate at which people are contracting the virus, couple with the fact that the virus is still being investigated by researchers who are also working on possible vaccine, the remedy for now is to take some precautions. So the governor has exercised his powers under both the Quarantine Act and the Public Health Law to make this regulation.
He said “Part of the provisions entails regulations on the number of people that can gather at a place, for a specified period of time, restriction of movement, governor’s approval for a gathering and even conditions to be observed if approval is granted.
According to him, “The implication is that, even though they are made by the governor, not the House of Assembly, the regulations have the same effect as if they are made House because they are made pursuant to a Law made by the House.”
He concluded that “So far, all the orders already issued by the governor during this pandemic period are supported by the regulations.”
A private legal practitioner in the state, Ma’ruf M. Yakasai, said “the regulation would give adequate legal backing to all the measures the state government has taken, is taking or intends to take.”