Lagos residents lament hunger during lockdown, await COVID-19 relief
– LASG seeks cooperation on restriction, asks citizens to report violators
On Day Three of the lockdown in Lagos State yesterday, it was various levels of frustration for residents as much lamented starvations resulting from the stay at the home directive of the president. Many of the residents, who are majorly artisans and traders lamented that they have been deprived of their livelihood, and burdened with lack of funds to cater for their welfare.
Speaking with our reporter, Mr. Bidemi said it was okay for the government to enforce lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus but palliative measures should be provided for the citizens. He noted that areas, where no cases of coronavirus had been reported, are already getting funds from the government to cater to their needs.
“As I am right now I am very restless. I don’t understand this government. The lockdown was too sudden. There was no chance for the people to organize themselves at all. They claimed to be giving money to the people, they started from Nasarawa State that has not even recorded any case of coronavirus.”
Also, Mrs. Chukwueze, who has a computer business centre in Ikotun, noted that the lockdown was too sudden and urged well-meaning Nigerians to stop giving the federal government relief materials but rather help the needy around them.
Lagosians have insisted that there is an urgent need for palliative or economic stimulus to cushion the effect of the sit at home order. Residents of Ikorodu yesterday condemned the politicization of government palliatives for Lagos dwellers.
One of the residents who pleaded anonymity told The Guardian that “We were told that if you don’t belong to a political party, you will not get the foodstuffs. You will notice that people have started coming out of their houses because they are hungry. It is not easy for persons who do a daily job. For some of us who work in firms, we are also in danger because our employers may refuse to pay us since we did not earn the pay.”
The president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, yesterday asked both the federal and state governments to make basic needs available for the masses during the lockdown period. The union said unless provisions were made for essential materials, the lockdown of the entire country may be counter-productive.
Meanwhile, the state government through the Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) has advised residents to cooperate with the directives of the federal and state government in their efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state and other parts of the country with the restrictions and lockdown, stressing that it was in the best interest of the populace.
LAGESC Corps Marshal, CP Gbemisola Akinpelu, commended residents for respecting the directive with voluntary compliance, advising them to call or send text messages to 09010517187, 09010517180 and 09010519979 to report any person or group violating the lockdown order.
While explaining that operatives have been mandated to sensitize youths taking advantage of the lack of vehicle traffic on the roads to play football and hold parties, she noted that social distancing should be encouraged in the best interest of all and sundry. She advised residents to stay home, avoid mass congregations of any kind as well as non-essential outings until further advice is given.