By Anayo Ezugwu
As the enforcement of President Muhammadu Buhari’s lockdown directive commences across, Lagos, Ogun states and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, residents complied with the presidential order. Major roads, airports, and markets were on Tuesday, March 31, deserted in Abuja and Lagos following the federal government’s restriction order on movement.
The government said the 14-day restriction will curb the spread of the coronavirus disease in the country. In its last update, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, said the country currently has 135 confirmed cases with two deaths.
In Lagos State, there was total compliance as major towns, streets and markets in the state were deserted. From Ojudu Berger, Ikeja, Maryland, Ikorodu, Sulurere to Lagos Island, the report is the same. At Ajuwon, a suburb of Ifako Ijaiye, there were compliance as the major streets and roads where converted to football pitches. Aside from the youths playing football, the streets as well as Ajuwon market were deserted in compliance with the directive.
On Lagos-Ibadan expressway, there was traffic on both sides as security operatives mounted barricades to check vehicular movements. Policemen had on Monday night blocked the expressway, restricting access into the state following the President’s directive on cessation of all movements in Lagos and Abuja to curb the outbreak of the virus.
At Igbogbo – Bayeku road in Ikorodu, Lagos, the only visible signs of life on this road are the neighborhood fuel station and a roadside operator of food processing machine, where some customers gathered, waiting to be served.
Realnews reports that the fuel station sells at government’s regulated price of 125/litre for PMS. According to the station manager, patronage has been very low since they opened by 7am. He attributes this to lockdown directive and people’s resolve to stay at home rather than risk being arrested by the law enforcement agencies.
He called on the government and mass media to inform the people that fuel stations are a part of the essential services exempted by the government’s lockdown directive. Thus, people living in the neighborhood covered by the fuel station should take advantage of their services and visit the fuel station.
As the compliance continues, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has met with security chiefs in the country to review the protocols for implementing the 14-day lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the FCT.
Boss Mustapha, chairman of the task force and secretary to the government of the federation, who spoke during a live Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja, on Tuesday, March 31, reiterated that the lockdown was for the benefit of the country and its citizens.
“The presidential task force has met with the security chiefs to smoothen rough edges of implementation within the first day of implementation and we are working on issuing an appropriate restriction protocol and exemption guidelines, which will guide the subsequent days of restrictions.
“Initial feedback is that there is substantial compliance but, however, there are violations of those restrictions by citizens that we desire to protect. Let me emphasise that the decision to lockdown is to prevent community spread which might be dangerous to manage. It can only be done by Nigerians and for Nigerians. So, we use this medium to implore our people and plead with them to please respect and honour restrictions that have been imposed for the good of our people and nation,” he said.
– Mar. 31, 2020 @ 22:15 GMT |