Residents of some communities in the Federal Capital Territory, Ogun and Lagos states on Sunday violated the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s (retd.) lockdown order.
On Saturday and Sunday, Punch correspondents in the FCT observed that although there was compliance with the order within the Abuja metropolis, residents of its suburbs, who cited hunger, went out contrary to the government’s directive.
In Ogun State, the Deputy Governor, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, in a statement on Sunday, decried the level of compliance in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area.
Residents of Lagos areas such as Iyana-Ipaja, Ketu and Alapare cited hunger for violating the lockdown.
The President had, in a nationwide broadcast on February 29, imposed 14-day lockdown on the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states to curb the spread of COVID-19 cases, which increased to 232 on Sunday.
Security men disperse traders at Kuje market
In the FCT, security personnel consisting of the police and the Federal Road Safety Corps officials chased away traders from Kuje market in the Kuje Area Council on Sunday.
One of our correspondents, who was in the area between 2pm and 3pm, observed that while the market was locked, traders displayed their goods at its entrance.
On sighting the security men, some traders took to their heels and abandoned their wares which included clothes, food and cosmetics.
However, the security men were civil with those who had the courage to stay behind. They appealed to the traders to respect the sit- at- home order.
A barber, who gave his name simply as Tunde, was working in his shop not far away from the market.
He told The PUNCH that security men regularly patrolled the area to enforce the order.
He said, “The security officials, especially policemen, have been coming here very often. Some of them insist that I close my shop, but others allow me after convincing them that mine is an essential service.”
Okada riders defy lockdown order in Kubwa
Commercial motorcycle riders, popularly known as okada in Kubwa, one of the major satellite towns in Abuja, defied the lockdown.
Okada riders were seen in most of the streets in Kubwa on Sunday, as they moved passengers from one location to another.
On the Arab Road, Byazhim, Kubwa Village Market, among other areas, for instance, the riders transported passengers who patronised them.
On why he was not obeying the lockdown, a rider, Umar Gambo, told one of our correspondents that it “was difficult” for him to stay indoor continuously because he needed to fend for his family.
Markets, others open at Bwari
The rate of compliance in Bwari on Sunday was not as high as it was when the lockdown started last week.
One of our correspondents, who went around Bwari between 1pm and 2pm, observed that many shops, markets, filling stations and pharmacies were opened.
Unlike the first two days when the roads were almost empty, there were movements of vehicles and commercial motorcycles.
Taxi drivers devise means of flouting order
Taxi drivers in the FCT, particularly in the Dei-Dei and Zuba areas, started work on Sunday
The PUNCH observed many taxi drivers resorted to wearing face masks and conveyed three passengers on the back seats, while squeezing two others in front.
In Zuba, it was observed that the drivers had increased their fares. It was gathered that they bribed policemen in order to operate, particularly from late afternoon and evening.
“We cannot stay at home. We have to eat. We should wear face masks. I think that is enough. Some of the policemen are cooperative. They also understand that we cannot survive without working,” a driver, Sanni Ahmed, said.
Hunger preventing us from observing lockdown – Lagos residents
Residents of communities in Lagos State told The PUNCH that hunger was responsible for their noncompliance with the lockdown.
While some residents observed the stay-home-order, others, including commercial motorists, were seen flouting the directive. They cited different reasons including hunger and illnesses when accosted by law enforcement agents.
When asked why she decided to disobey the stay-home directive, one Iya Rukayat , a bag seller in Ketu, said hunger prompted her to display her bags for sale. She added that she fed her family from her daily income.
She said, “At first, I observed the order, but it got to a point that there was no money to feed my family, so I had to come out to sell my bags. I just started displaying my goods this morning and I have not made any sale. I cannot just stay at home when my family is hungry.”
Speaking on condition of anonymity, another resident of the Alapere, said she had not benefitted from the foodstuffs donated by state government.
At Berger, Iyana-Ipaja. Igando, Iba, Iyana-Iba and Mile 2, motorcyclists, (Okada); tricyclists (Keke) and traders were seen working without being disturbed by security men.
Ogun street urchins, cultists defy lockdown
In Ogun State, street urchins, cultists and some traders defied the sit-at-home order.
The lockdown, which commenced in the state on Friday night, recorded substantial compliance in many parts, but some residents of Sango-Ota and Ewekoro did not stay at home
Some miscreants in Ota defied the restriction of movement in the area while scrambling for foodstuffs donated by the state government.
An eye witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the miscreants besieged the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government headquarters following an announcement that foodstuffs would be shared in the place.
According to the source, the miscreants ran amok when they failed to get their share of the foodstuffs.
The deputy governor, in a statement by her press officer, Seun Boye, frowned upon the poor level of compliance by some residents of the local government area.
She was said to be on an assessment of the Ado-Odo/Ota and the Yewa South Local Government areas.
She said, “On the violators, I have met with Ota Area (police) commander on my way and let me reiterate that the law must be obeyed and nobody would be spared.
“We will also continue to engage our law enforcement agencies to make sure that they support us to be able to achieve our mission.”
Also, the cultists in the Ifo Local Government Area of the state defied the restriction of movements in the area when they clashed.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, while confirming the incident, said the cultists made a mess of the order.
He said the clash between two rival groups claimed one life. He added that four people had been arrested.
Ekiti residents groan under lockdown
But Ekiti State on Sunday witnessed a large presence of security agents on the roads for the enforcement of the lockdown.
A resident, Olamide Akinwale, said the huge security presence might not be unconnected with an alleged threat by traders to violate the lockdown.
Akinwale also said the compliance with the lockdown was due to the punishment meted out to violators on Tuesday. He added, “Many people are hungry and angry because they have no access to their means of livelihood.”
IDH workers to undergo test
The Lagos State Government will today (Monday) conduct COVID-19 test on all health workers attending to patients at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba.
A worker at the IDH, who confided in one of our correspondents on Sunday, said none of the personnel in the hospital had tested positive for the virus.
He said, “We have been hearing the rumour that some nurses working at the Infectious Disease Hospital tested positive for COVID-19. There is nothing like that to the best of my knowledge for now. However, we were told by the state government that all health workers will be tested, starting from tomorrow (Monday).”
When one of our correspondents contacted the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, on the phone, he did not pick his calls. He also failed to respond to a text message sent to his mobile.
36-year-old dies of coronavirus in Lagos
Abayomi, on his verified twitter handle, @ProfAkinAbayomi, on Sunday, said a 36-year-old man had died of coronavirus in the state.
He said the Nigerian died on Saturday in a private facility, adding that it was the second coronavirus fatality in Lagos.
Recall that The PUNCH had on Friday reported that a 55-year-old man died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, becoming the first coronavirus-related death recorded in Lagos.
He tweeted, “We lost a COVID-19 patient – a 36-year-old Nigerian male who died in a private facility on the 4th of April, 2020. The total number of #COVID-19 patients who have died is now two.”
Lagos discharges five more COVID-19 patients
Also, the state on Sunday discharged five patients receiving treatment at the IDH, Yaba.
The Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, disclosed this on his twitter handle, @Jidesanwoolu. The total number of discharged patients in the state is now 29.
He tweeted, “Dear Lagosians, yesterday I announced the discharge of one more patient from our Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba.
“Today, I am happy to inform you that five more patients comprising two males and three females, including a 10- year- old girl, have tested negative twice for #COVID19.
“These five patients have been discharged to reunite with their families. This brings to a total of 29, the number of patients who have fully recovered and have been discharged from our facility at Yaba.”
Don’t bring Chinese doctors, NMA, nurses warn FG
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Medical Association and the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives have warned the Federal Government against the plan to invite 18 medical experts from China.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had, during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Friday, said a Nigeria Air Force plane would depart Nigeria for China to bring medical supply and the experts in response to the virus.
But in separate interviews with The PUNCH, in Abuja, the NMA and the NANNM expressed their reservation about the move.
The NMA President, Dr Francis Faduyile, said when NMA leadership met the minister, there was no discussion about hiring foreign experts.
He said that the minister needed to explain to Nigerians if the Chinese would be in 14-day isolation since they would be coming from a highly infected country.
Francis said, “The question that comes to mind is what happens to the national protocol on people coming into the country. The policy is that everybody coming from abroad, especially countries with high cases like China must undergo 14 days isolation. When these people come, will they go into self-isolation for 14 days before they start working?
“If they are medical practitioners, are they going to apply for registration to work from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria? These are issues that beg for answers that the minister should put in public place.”
Also, Faduyile, in a statement on Sunday said the NMA members were making huge sacrifice to respond to the deadly disease despite absence of adequate personal protective equipment to work within hospitals.
Faduyile warned that coronavirus death toll in Italy rose after Chinese medical experts arrived in the country to offer assistance.
He stated, “The association believes that this invitation is ill-timed and of no overbearing significance considering that whatever experiences the Chinese have can be shared by digital technology through conferencing bearing in mind that Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu (NCDC Director General) has only just returned from China. We are not averse to the donation of equipment and supplies because we can always do with such support.”
Also, President of the NANNM, AbdlRauf Adeniji, said the minister was repeating the mistake that militated against Nigeria’s health system.
He said, “Our problem in Nigeria is that we have never learnt any lesson from experience. We do the same thing the same way and get the same result. Somebody is repeating the process.
“What we suffer in this country is maladministration of the resources we have. What have we done with the health personnel we have on ground? The minister of health and the agents working with him should always weigh what they want to tell the public.
“If they want to bring in people from China, we need to know which area they are coming to fill. When we have not taken stock of what we have, how do we know what we need?
A group, under the aegis of Indigenous People of Niger Delta, has warned government against any move to invite Chinese doctors into the country under any guise to treat patients of coronavirus pandemic.
The group’s warning was contained in a statement by its President, Prince Tiemo Pumokumo and addressed to the Chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa; the governors of Niger Delta states and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
18 new cases recorded on Sunday – NCDC
The Nigeria Centre for Disease on Sunday morning said 10 new cases had been recorded
The NCDC via its twitter handle, @NCDCgov, said, “Ten new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Nigeria. Six in Lagos, two in FCT and two in Edo.
“As of 11:15am of April 5, there are 224 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Nigeria. Twenty-seven have been discharged with five deaths.”
On Sunday night, it said eight new cases were recorded. Five were in Lagos, two in the FCT and one in Kaduna, bringing the total number of cases recorded on Sunday to 18.
The NCDC via its twitter handle, @NCDCgov, said, “As at 09:30 pm of April 5, there are 232 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Nigeria. Thirty-three have been discharged with five deaths.”
With the latest cases, Lagos now has 120 cases; the FCT, 47; Osun, 20; Kaduna, five; Oyo, nine, Enugu, two; Edo, nine; Bauchi, six; Ekiti, two; Akwa Ibom, five and Ogun, four. Rivers, Benue and Ondo have one case each. Punch Feature
Pix: President Buhari