Business Hilights
Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

Just in: Buhari’s Lagos Lockdown under threat as youths’ takeover streets

...As Infections hit 135 in Nigeria with 2 deaths, Ghana 152 with 5 deaths

Strong indications have emerged suggesting that the principle aim of the presidential lockdown of Lagos, FCT and Ogun States are facing defeat as rather than remaining indoors, Lagosians and youths mainly are seen playing football on the streets.

Whereas Ogun State had taken exception to resume their lockdown effective Friday, Lagos State that followed the directive seems to be toying with the modus operandis of lockdown going by happenstances across visited streets in the state this morning.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had 48 hours ago, announced total lockdown of the current epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria which is Lagos in a bid to reduce rate of spread of the virus.

President Buhari made it clear that “Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March. This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.

“All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.

“The Governors of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Minister of the FCT have been notified. Furthermore, heads of security and intelligence agencies have also been briefed.

We will use this containment period to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases. We will ensure the treatment of confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other States.

Continuing during the broadcast, President Buhari stressed that “This order does not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in health care related manufacturing and distribution.

“Furthermore, commercial establishments such as; food processing, distribution and retail companies; petroleum distribution and retail entities, power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and private security companies are also exempted.

“Although these establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored.

Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted,” President Buhari noted.

However, checks across populous residential areas of Lagos today, Tuesday, March 31, 2020 (the very first day of the lockdown) showed youths organising themselves in groups and playing all sorts of games including choosing, Monkey Posts, Tyre Post, Drafts, Ludos and many other forms of games without any sense of social distancing which is one of the key targets of the lockdown in the first instance.

Areas mostly affected included Lagos Island, mainland, FESTAC, Satellite Town, Ikeja, Surulere, Lekki, Oshodi, Agege and so many others.

Besides, there were no law enforcement agencies seen during the checks by Business Hilights monitoring team.

An independent report received few minutes ago from a media expert, Mr Innocent Orok showed more people on the road in parts of the popular Ikotun roundabout, with Ikotun  market  linking with  a T -Junction with  the  linking Egbeda- Iyana Ipaya-Ikeja, another linking Cele Express,- Okota- Mile 2- Apapa and the third linking Ijekun- Igando, Iyana Iba- Badagry expressway.

According to him, “On a normal day this junction is always hectic with humans and vehicular traffic struggling for space. But due to the Lockdown which began 11pm yesterday as ordered by the Federal Government of Nigeria, most streets and major highways are deserted with both humans and vehicles.

“Today kick -starts the 14 days total Lockdown which affects Lagos, Ogun and the Abuja, FCT. Our Correspondent visits to most major roads and markets around Alimosho LGA, witnessed citizens obeying the stay at home order, but some were still on the streets not at their homes as ordered.

“But, also around the major bus stops, people mostly artisans and transporters were clustering in few numbers, while some boys were playing ball on the streets. To them this is another holiday of fraternising. They are not however observing the Self Distancing or Self Isolation aspect of the order.

“The most dangerous trend of the Coronavirus scourge is that of people still clustering together without giving themselves space.

And also, most people cannot stay in their houses; rather still hang out with family members and friends, hereby flaunting the Presidential order of “Stay at your Homes”.

“This is the critical aspect the people and government should intensity their campaigns. But also, people cannot stay at home without food..

In his submission, Orok stressed that “It is not enough for government to declare a Locked down, but to forced people to remain at their homes to avoid the spread of the Covid19.”

..More details later.