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Knocks over lockdown as Adelaja, Adewale task federal, state govts on clarification

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An officer of Ogun State Road Safety Command tries to block the expressway to prevent motorists from driving into Lagos, at the Ojodu-Berger border between Lagos and Ogun States, on March 31, 2020, following the lockdown by the authorities to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Lagos was deserted on March 31, 2020, after Nigeria locked down its economic hub and shuttered its capital Abuja, in the continent’s latest effort to brake the juggernaut of COVID-19 coronavirus. Businesses were closed, markets abandoned and streets empty as the usually chaotic megacity of 20 million, along with the capital Abuja, shuddered to a halt on the first full day of a two-week shutdown. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

.Say there can’t be school feeding programme with pupils at home over COVID-19
.Warn against politicising pandemic, looming economy recession

There have been several reactions to the speech of President Muhammadu Buhari, during his nationwide broadcast on Sunday evening.

The President had directed that Lagos, Ogun and Abuja should be on a lockdown for the next 14 days, although, some organisations like the media, oil and gas, communication, food processing companies and few other are exempted, provided the workers have their identity cards as proof.

However, the National Publicity Secretary of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Prince Adelaja Adeoye, has called on the Federal government, Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, and Babajide Sanwo-olu of Lagos State, to make more clarifications on the order, requesting the government to state whether the lockdown is for inter-state or people within these states, who will not be able to move from one point to the other.

This request was contained in an audio interview granted to The Guardian yesterday, while Adelaja charged the government to provide support for those in the affected states, noting that things will be very difficult for those whose daily survival rests on what they make daily.

“Locking up people for 14 days will have severe consequences and impact on them, especially those whose daily survival is from whatever they get from their trade or endeavours everyday. That is why there should be clarifications in these states, people should be allowed to move within the states because there might be cases of emergency,” Adelaja said.

The National publicly secretary noted further that while it is commendable to work hard on stopping the spreading of COVID-19, the government must also be working on alternative economy, since the oil price has fallen on the international scene.

On his part, the former Lagos State Chairman of the People s Democratic Party (PDP), Segun Adewale said: “We must be able to work on the alternative now, so that citizens can have social benefit, support and money to spend after post COVID-19, the lock down will have adverse effects on the nation economically if measures are not put in place now. Therefore, the economic team must quickly assemble to think of the way out, so that Nigeria will not slide into recession again.

Adelaja, however, demanded that President Buhari should make further clarification on his School feeding programme.

He queried the possibility of feeding children who are at home with their parents, due to the fear of coronavirus, as all the schools across the country have shut down, as announced by the president during his speech.

While the PDP chieftain stressed that this is a time all Nigerians must come together, stating that, nobody, including the politicians should be allowed to politicise or ethnicise this pandemic, adding, “If care is not taken, they will use it to over heat the political space via blame game and bulk passing.”

Adelaja, however, tasked president Buhari to emulate the United States (US) President, Donald Trump, Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom and other world leaders who gives regular updates to their citizens, asking that the broadcast done by the President on Sunday should not be the only and last one during this pandemic.


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