Nigeria to Witness Gradual Easing of Lock-downs, Says Buhari

Nigeria, Witness, Gradual Easing, Lock-downs, Muhammadu Buhari
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

*Locks Kano Down for Two Weeks

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari in a nationwide live broadcast on Monday came up with new strategies which he said were suitable for the country’s peculiarities in its fight against the spread of COVID-19.

The president, in line with the suggestion of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), ordered that the existing states and federal lock-downs be gradually eased, saying the first phase of the easing process was to allow normal businesses within their states during the day between 6am and 8pm.

There would however be a nationwide curfew between 8pm and 6am, he said, adding that restrictions on social and religious gatherings would remain enforced.

Meanwhile, the federal government’s lockdown order in the federal capital territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun states has been extended by another week and would end on Monday, May 4.

Also in line with NGF’s suggestion, President Buhari slammed a ban on interstate travels, exempting only movement of essential goods and services, saying the decisions were taken after considering the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the various federal government committees that have reviewed socio-economic matters affecting the country.

Buhari was emphatic in his directives: “There will be a ban on non-essential inter-state passenger travel until further notice. Partial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services will be allowed for the movement of goods and services from producers to consumers.”

He hinted that the use of facemasks would be made mandatory, while insisting on maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene, urging state governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists to support the production of cloth masks for citizens.

In the meantime, Kano State got a special treatment, obviously because of its recent worrisome problems. Aside rapidly increasing cases of confirmed COVID—19, there has been reported cases of rising death incidences which the state government initially denied but later acknowledged but was still unable to explain.

Buhari said the state was to remain totally closed for two starting from Monday. “With regards to Kano, I have directed the enforcement of a total lockdown for a period of two weeks effective immediately. The federal government shall deploy all the necessary human, material and technical resources to support the state in controlling and containing the pandemic and preventing the risk of further spread to neighbouring states,” he said.

In summary, from Monday, May 4, 2020, Nigeria is expected to begin a gradual easing of restrictions on movements and business activities within states, while mask wearing, social and physical distancing would be enforced. However inter-state movements would be restricted. But Kano state shall remain strictly locked down from April 27 to May 10.


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