A former National Deputy Chairman (South West) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has urged the federal government to relax the Lockdown it placed on Lagos State to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PDP chieftain, who made the call in Lagos on Thursday, opined that the over Three (3) weeks lockdown placed since March 29th 2020, has had debilitating effects on economic activities in the state, and sprout various security challenges.
He said the intended goal of the lockdown was to curb the spread of the virus, but the absence of palliatives from the government is threatening the realization of that goal.
He also iterated that the government should strike a balance between curbing the spread of the virus, and ensuring the safety of livelihoods of citizens by relaxing the lockdown and enacting various safety measures.
“Everywhere in Lagos is now locked down. The markets, banking halls, the local grocery shops, the supermarkets, the transportation services are all halted, frozen by the federal government directives since March 29.
“On the surface level, the federal government’s position is to ensure safety, prevent communal spread of the virus and banish this scourge from our shores.
“Lagosians have been staying at home for about a month now. In a largely informal economy where most of our people depend on daily wages, the burden of lack of income is devastating.
“There is a natural growing anger in Lagos as the most vulnerable are ravaged with hunger,” George said.
Chief George also alluded to the lack of palliatives for the teeming youths as one of the reasons for the recent upsurge in armed robberies and other criminal activities in the state.
“And yet others have resorted to putting all kinds of sinister audio messages in the social media threatening rapine and murder.
“Surely, we cannot continue like this. You cannot lock down millions of people without necessary palliatives to ease the dysfunction which this scourge has inflicted upon our country.
“It is a balancing act. Lagos must be gradually eased out of this shutdown with comprehensive safety measures.
“There is a need for the expansion of the testing centres to ensure that the virus is appropriately contained, especially among the asymptomatic population who may spread the virus without knowing that they are infected,” he said.
The PDP chieftain also urged governments at both state and local levels to purchase more Personal Protection Equipments(PPEs), ensure more rapid testing kits and enforce adherence to social distancing in public spaces.
“All these measures can be aligned at the same time with the easing of the shutdown,” he said.
He also observed that a lot of countries on lockdown ab initio, have relaxed the shutdown in order to protect their economies and save the livelihood of their citizens, urging the Federal Government to tow the same line.