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, our 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 a 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.
Reports have it 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 mentioned 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 patronized them.
On why he was not obeying the lockdown, a rider, Umar Gambo, said that it “was difficult” for him to stay indoor continuously because he needed to fend for his family.
Hunger preventing us from observing lockdown – Lagos residents
Residents of communities in Lagos State said 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 sales. 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 the 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.