The federal government imposed lock-down extension on Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states ends today, with anxiety mounting over the next step that President Muhammadu Buhari may take.
Already, governors of the 36 states of the federation have requested for a ban on interstate travel, implying a holistic lockdown on the entire nation, in a move they believe will retard the continuous spread of COVID-19.
While the president has reportedly received the governors’ request, he has been in consultation with stakeholders in the management of the pandemic in Nigeria. Foremost among them are the ministry of health and the nation’s centre for disease control (NCDC).
While the ministry of health and NCDC are said to be disposed to the further extension of the lockdown in term of time and reach, the economic community, labour groups as well as artisans have opposed it.
There have been some sort of partial or total lockdown in some states of the federation, especially those that have positive cases in their domain, but complaints have been launched that cases get across borders to spread the virus among states. NCDC has continued to announce outbreak in states that were hitherto free of COVID-19.
The minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and NCDC’s director-general, Chikwe Ihekweazu were reported to have briefed the president on the true situation of things on Sunday, yet none of them could say with certainly what position the president would be taking at the end of day.
Even though Ehanire did not expose his position, his optimism about the country winning the fight against the pandemic tends to suggest that he believes the present measures are working, and he was in favour of sustenance.
The country waits to hear from President Buhari by the end of Monday.