Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said he may be forced to lock down the state again, if residents continue to ignore public health guidelines.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, May 4, eased the five-week lockdown he imposed on Lagos, Ogun and Abuja to check the spread of COVID-19.
However, there have been chaos and rowdy scenes, since residents were allowed to move freely.
Sanwo-Olu speaking at a press briefing today, expressed his unhappiness over the crowd observed at various banks and markets across the state.
The Governor, he said, was taken aback, watching residents going about their businesses in the last five days after the ease of lockdown without complying with the public health guidelines despite massive advocacy.
Sanwo-Olu said the crowd observed at various banks and markets across the State flouted the public gathering directive, noting that the Government would not watch while people violate the State’s guidelines towards combating the pandemic.
He said: “As a Government elected to uphold security of its citizens, which include health security, we will not hesitate to review the terms of the easing of lockdown if we do not see an improvement in adherence to our public health guidelines in the next couple of days.
“We will be forced to take a painful decision of bringing the entire system under lockdown if we continue to see evidence that Lagosians are determined to flout the rules.
Sanwo-Olu said the State Government’s order restricting the operation of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, had been defied, directing the police to confiscate any commercial motorcycle seen flouting his directive.
The Governor also instructed security personnel to strictly enforce the ban on inter-state movement, directing the police to turn back all pedestrians trekking to Lagos from boundary highways.
The Governor said the task of ridding the State of the ravaging virus must be a collective responsibility and not a task for the Government alone. He advised residents to adhere strictly to the health measures initiated by the Government, stressing that the use of face mask was made compulsory to protect unaffected population from the virus.
Sanwo-Olu said: “We are at a critical point in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic where every citizen of the State needs to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing.
“As citizens, we have a great burden upon us, to behave responsibly. These times demand a lot from us, in terms of actions and behaviours that may not be comfortable. To stay alive and well, we have to abandon old habits and customs, and adopt new ones.”
Sanwo-Olu said the controlled and gradual easing of the five-week lockdown was to strike a balance between the protection of lives and the sustenance of livelihoods.
Lagos still has the highest number of confirmed cases in Nigeria with 1,683.