Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has given approval to the Ministry of Justice to prosecute culprits of open defecation in the state.
According to the governor, the state would also prosecute anyone who dumps refuse in the state capital and the penalty, when fully in place, would promote behavioural change in the hygiene of citizens and curb open defecation.
The directive was given during a media conference held by the Commissioner for Information, Prince Dotun Oyelade, in Ibadan, organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with the theme “Eliminating Open Defecation in South West.”
While briefing journalists at the parley, the Commissioner said the directive from the governor came against the backdrop of rampant open defecation practice in the state, stressing that his ministry waz intensifying efforts on public enlightenment to sensitise residents to desist from open defecation practice.
“The government is willing to effect the necessary behavioural change in open defecation, working with UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene action plan,” Oyelade said.
“In this state, we have adopted the WASH action plan; if need be, we will back it up with legislation. And the Ministry of Justice has been mandated to penalise defecators and those dumping refuse in illegal sites.
“Also, law enforcement agencies will do their bit. It is sad that Nigeria has taken over from Egypt by recording the highest rate of open defecation. And the government will deal decisively with open defecators.”
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