‘Shutting down Lagos, Abuja without immediate palliatives‘ll be counter-productive’
The Youth Party has frowned at the Federal Government’s decision to shut down Lagos, Ogun and Abuja for 14 days, warning that the shutdown without any immediate palliatives will be counterproductive.
In a statement on Monday, spokesperson of the party, Ms. Ilamosi Ekenimoh, said though the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic threatens Nigeria’s socio-economic existence and deserves all the efforts and attention, but completely shutting down the commercial nerve centre of the country will do the nation more harm.
Ekenimoh said, “65 percent of Nigeria’s economy is informal, especially in Lagos and these individuals survive on earning a daily income. It is, therefore, a bit insensitive for the government to shut out at least 5 million people in Lagos without anything to fall back on with those 14 days. How will they fend for themselves and their families?”
The party also warned that such a decision could lead to a spike in crime rates in the affected cities, adding, “When millions of people have nothing to feed on for a whole week, some of them might be forced into crime and this could lead to social unrest”
The spokesperson continued, “We understand that urgent and uncomfortable decisions have to be made to contain this pandemic but if the government will like to see commitment and compliance from all citizens, then it must be willing to immediately set measures in place to deliver palliatives to the most vulnerable Nigerians before the shutdown. This could mean cash transfers, food and groceries and anything that would not place a burden on these vulnerable Nigerians for the duration of the order”