Lockdown extension will spell doom for Nigeria, Ayade warns
• A’Ibom extends exercise to April 27, Kwara by two weeks
• NIS prolongs suspension of passports processing, e-migrant registration
Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade has warned against further lockdown of the country in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), saying it will spell doom and give rise to uncontrollable restiveness.
Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) had on Wednesday agreed on interstate lockdown to curb the spread of the pandemic across states.
Ayade, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Christian Ita, pointed out, “With prices of oil falling, locking out is far better than locking down because another two weeks of lockdown will find this country under siege by young people. There is no way you can hold down these young energies for too long.
“It is demographic. According to statistics, 65 per cent of the population is below the age of 35 and the virus itself does not have penetrative force in such demography. That is what we have to recognise as a country.”
The governor argued that the difference in climate conditions between the west and Africa was the reason the pandemic was ravaging the former.
Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom State Chairman of the COVID-19 Management Committee and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, has appealed to residents to bear with government as the lockdown is extended to Monday April 27, 2020.
In a press conference for COVID-19 update in Uyo yesterday, he said the government was taking the action, despite its successes in containing the spread of the virus, to sustain the tempo and save the lives of the people of the state.
“In view of the critical situation that we are in as a nation and as a state, although it would have been desirable to call off the lockdown at this juncture, given that we must ensure continuous safety of our citizens, the ideal thing, for now, is to continue with the lockdown until Monday, April 27, 2020,” said Kwara recorded two new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 11.
The two new cases are contacts of the previous cases, AbdulRazaq told reporters in Ilorin shortly after flagging off the enumeration exercise for transporters at Government Secondary School, Maraba.
“The lockdown for another two weeks is to reduce the number of cases. As you can see, Kano is going up, Lagos is going up. Even in Kwara, we have two more cases. So, there is a need for boundaries to lockdown,” he said.
Also, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has extended the suspension of passports processing and migrant e-registration for one month.
The service said the extension was part of measures adopted by the Federal Government to restrict movement to contain the virus.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO), Sunday James, in a statement yesterday quoted the Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede, as saying the action became necessary to give the situation the deserved attention and approach, considering the successes achieved and the need to drastically reduce the spread of COVID-19.
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