Lagosians embark on panic-buying, cash withdrawals
• Lagos govt refutes report on state lockdown
• NRC stops Lagos-Ogun mass transit train services
Ahead of today’s (Thursday) take-off of Lagos State Government’s directive of shutting down markets across the state, Lagosians yesterday embarked on panic-buying, which led to overcrowding of the markets.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had on Tuesday directed that all open markets and stores should close except for sellers of food and medicines, medical equipment and other essential life-saving products.
Sanwo-Olu said the measures became necessary because of increase in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide with Lagos leading the pack.
The Guardian observed that the markets were besieged as early as 7:00 a.m. yesterday, the exact period the traders were displaying their wares.At the popular Ile-Epo market, major focus of the buyers were foodstuff like pepper, rice, garri, plantain, palm oil and other perishable items.
This led to traffic gridlock around the area.It was the same scenario in Agege, Iyana-Ipaja, Agbado-Kollington, Agbado Station, Iju, Oshodi, Tollgate markets and others.
In a related development, the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) points across the state experienced unprecedented patronage as residents in a last minute rush engaged in withdrawal spree.
However, Lagos State government has said that the state is not on lockdown as being reported by some media houses.
Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement, said: “The attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to news reports that Lagos is on lockdown following Governor Sanwo-Olu’s update on the steps taken to curtail the spread of Coronavirus.”
He stated that the impression created by such reports was erroneous, as Lagos is not on lockdown despite the stringent measures introduced by the government.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has suspended the Lagos-Ogun Mass Transit Train Services with immediate effect.
The Lagos Railway District Manager, Mr. Jerry Oche, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that the new development had become imperative to contain the further spread of COVID-19 in the state and the country.
“We are shutting down today. So, there is not going to be evening train operations until further notice.
“We are shutting down to curb the spread of COVID-19. The closure is going to be indefinite until further directives from the government,” he said.