It’s Good Friday but lockdown continues in Lagos
• Lagos, police dismiss claims of lifting stay-at-home order for Easter celebration
It is Good Friday today; but what is most paramount to most residents of Lagos State is that today is Day 11 of the lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and they are counting down in hours to either the expiration of the 14-day stay-at-home directive ending on Monday night or a further extension of the lockdown.
In anticipation of the Easter celebrations, rumours were rife yesterday that the Lagos State government was planning to lift the lockdown to enable citizens mark Easter but the state government has swiftly dismissed such reports. At the press briefing yesterday, the Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, said the lockdown is still in full force and that it is only the Federal Government that can lift the lockdown order.
“Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has not relaxed any lockdown. The lockdown is still on and we appeal to Lagosians to continue to obey the directive to continue to be responsible because that is the only way the experts have said we can fight this disease.
The lockdown is still on. If it is going to be extended or relaxed, it is the business of the Federal Government. The announcement is not going to be made by Babajide Sanwo-Olu because he did not impose it in the first place,” he clarified.
Omotosho, however, noted that there is life after COVID-19 but the battle is far from over. “Yes, life must go on but we need the cooperation of everybody in the state to win this battle against the pandemic in the shortest possible time.
“The battle is not yet over, we can regain our lives back and things return to normalcy, but it can only happen when we all adhere to the safety precautions as set by both the federal and state government. For us in Lagos, COVID-19 has not stopped governance. We are still working and doing all we can to flatten the curve of the pandemic.”
This effectively means the ban on social gathering is still in force and there will be no gatherings by religious bodies to mark the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ this year. Also, all fun spots and parks is still closed for any activity during this period.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has directed the Commissioners of Police in states where the COVID-19 social restriction orders have been emplaced to continue with the due enforcement of the orders during the Easter celebrations. A statement by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, yesterday in Abuja, said they are also directed to ensure that officers and men conduct themselves in line with extant laws and standard best practices.
He noted that the call has become necessary in order to curtail the community spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has immensely challenged humanity across all spheres of life. Mba said the IGP tasked Christians to emulate and adopt the selfless lifestyle of Christ as they join other Christians around the globe to celebrate Easter.
“The IGP calls on religious leaders in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as well as other States affected by the restriction orders, to continue to cooperate with relevant government agencies and use their leadership positions to encourage worshippers to observe Prayers and Worship Programs in the confines of their homes.