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The Consequences of Flouting a Lockdown Order

It is roughly a week since the Federal Government declared a lockdown in 3 states in Nigeria – Lagos, Ogun and F.C.T – and we already have news of those trying to defy the directive to deal with.

Over the weekend, news travelled round that one of the people who tested positive to the Coronavirus in Osun state escaped from isolation. Coordinated effort by all parties concerned helped to find the individual again and re-secure them in the isolation center.

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In a related vein, Funke Akindele, a popular Nigerian actress, and her husband, AbdulRasheed Bello, were arraigned in the Lagos Magisterial District in Ogba, Ikeja, for holding a party indoors with more than 10 people in attendance on Saturday, April 4.

 She was alleged to have contravened the directive on social distancing for her husband, JJC Skillz’s, party –  as declared in Regulation 8(1)(a) & (b) and 17(1)(i) of the Lagos state infectious disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020. The offences committed are punishable under Section 58 Public Health Law Cap p16 Vol.(9) Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

In other pictures which flooded social media in the morning of Monday, April 6, main highways in Lagos were seen to be occupied by people strolling or exercising on the tarred roads while vehicles were moving on one side of the road.

Another video also later surfaced of the Lagos political godfather, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, celebrating his recent birthday and taking pictures with persons numbering up to 10 in an indoors location. As his birthday, on March 29, also fell within the period which the Lagos state is charging Funke Akindele & co for, pundits are of the opinion that punitive measures should be taken against the person of Tinubu as well.

In defiance of the no movement order, the Ogun state government also released a memo on Saturday giving exception to Dangote Industries trucks to be able to move around in Ogun state. We can only have a staggered effectiveness of the lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus if it is not being followed by so called V.I.Ps.

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People are not supposed to be moving about in a lockdown aimed at preventing the exponential spread of a viral disease. The effects of some people’s defiance of the lockdown order is already being seen with more people refusing to stay in their home.  And in the end, we might get to a point where security personnel on highways won’t be able to control human and vehicular movement anymore because the lockdown has been ridiculed by the few who are more privileged in the society.

As the Lagos state government has found a scape-goat in the person of Funke Akindele and her husband to prosecute, it would seem like others who are flouting the lockdown order have done no wrong. Even as the governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwoolu, has hinted that the lockdown order in Lagos may be extended, some people are already tired of staying at home already. Perhaps, the milling and over-active population of Lagos are already kicking to go back to the routine of being bombarded with traffic jams everyday.  

However, caution must be taken by the government and law enforcement agencies in designing and implementing particular systems which will conform most to the lifestyle of Nigerians during this lockdown period or else, the shutdown would all just become a joke.

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Macaddy Gad

Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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  1. Pingback: Omo Ghetto Is The Highest-Grossing Nollywood Movie Of All Time • Connect Nigeria

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