Fitness enthusiasts defy lockdown, police presence, occupy Ikorodu road
After some angst and criticism on social media against the fitness enthusiasts, who defied the stay-at-home order by the federal and state government and turned the Gbagada-Oshodi expressway into a gym site on Monday, battle-ready policemen stormed the highway to disperse the crowd that had gathered for another day in the sun.
A detachment of policemen were stationed along the route sending people away from the highway a day after some concerned residents called on the state government to take action against the violators.
Despite the heavy presence of the police, the expressway still witnessed an influx of pedestrians as Lagos residents took to strolling along the newly reconstructed lane of the highway.
But many of the fitness enthusiasts would not be deterred, as they yesterday morning moved to another location to continue their exercise amid the lockdown order to contain the spread of coronavirus in the state.
By midday, the whole stretch of Ikorodu road between Haruna and Agric bus stops witnessed an influx of citizens in their hundreds clad in various sports wears performing several aerobic exercises like jogging, squatting, skip-jumping and shadow boxing all in a bid to flex their muscles and burn some fat.
Earlier, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on New Media, Gawat Jubril, had announced that government was coming down hard on all violators of the stay-at-home directive. In a tweet posted yesterday morning, he said: “Lekki expressway is clean. All the DPOs in that axis are out on the road. Please stay home and stay safe. COVID-19 is not a joking matter please.”
A resident of Ikorodu, Bola Jimoh, said though there was heavy security presence in the area, they were mostly extorting money from road users. “All the policemen patrolling Ikorodu were mostly around the garage roundabout. It didn’t deter people from coming out onto the roads either with their vehicles or on foot.”
Another said: “Lagos State government should do something about policemen at Ikorodu road, they are busy collecting bribe from passersby. Even commercial bus operators are allowed to load passengers. The lockdown is not being taken seriously anymore.”
For Bola Akintunde, “everybody who went to Ikorodu road to jog deserve the same treatment Funke Akindele got for hosting a party in her house, a fine of N100,000 plus six hours of frog jump in this hot sun since they want to lose weight. I trust soldiers to make their weight loss easy.”