COVID-19: Relaxation of lockdown in Lagos, risky – legal practitioners



Two Lagos-base lawyers, Isaiah Odje and Adebayo Johnson, say the partial easing of lockdown in Lagos, against the spread of novel coronavirus at this time, “is not safe for residents”.

The lawyers spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews on Thursday in Lagos.

NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday announced the relaxation of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) from May 4, after four weeks of movement restriction.

Mr Odje of the Odje Chambers said that easing the lockdown in Lagos, at this time, was not the best decision.

“It is risky and may result in more casualties.

“With the way people will rush out from Monday for work and other engagements, I fear the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases will double in few days.

“Although Lagos State Government has announced that its workers from levels one to 12 should work from home, what of federal and private workers and other individuals?’’ Odje said.

According to him, there are people who have this virus unknowingly because it is yet to show any symptoms.

“By the time we mingle with them inside buses, in offices and other places, the virus will keep spreading.’’

He observed that many Lagos residents have not been complying fully with the stay-at-home order in the last four weeks and that was why the cases kept increasing.

“People move around on the street without observing social distancing; some even play football.

“The restriction order is only obeyed on major highways.

“Though many people are broke, but being broke is better than being infected with a deadly virus; prevention is better than cure.

“This is the time for people to take their safety into their own hands, observe precautionary measures, COVID-19 is real,’’ Odje told NAN.

Another lawyer, Mr Johnson, said that the relaxation of the lockdown was dangerous as Lagos would record more confirmed cases and even deaths because of its population.

“It is not safe to ease lockdown at this point in time because Lagos is over-crowded.

“We are at home for over four weeks and cases are increasing, it may get worse when the lockdown is lifted on Monday,’’ Johnson told NAN.

He urged Lagos residents to fully comply with the directives of the Federal and State Government.

“For the sake of the health of the nation, let us obey the instructions of the governments.

“Although it may not be easy, we must understand that there is time for everything and now is the time.

“This is a time of trials and sacrifice and we must learn to give government support to overcome this situation.

“Let ask God for the restoration of our lives, health and economy.’’ (NAN)