There was confusion everywhere in Ilorin on Monday as residents trooped out in their numbers to earn their living in spite of the total lockdown of the Kwara capital and the state in general to curtail the spread of Coronavirus.
A Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who monitored the level of compliance to the riot act read to residents on Sunday by the Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, on total ban on vehicular movements, reports that it was not effective.
NAN also reports that commercial vehicles, including motorcycles and tricycles were busy carrying passengers to their destinations.
Alabi, Chairman, Technical Committee on COVID-19 in the state, had while giving an update on the lockdown, warned the people against vehicular movement as the government relaxed the order for four hours to allow people to restock their essential needs.
Security operatives were seen looking confused and unsure of how to control traffic in spite of the state asking residents to stay at home to prevent the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus.
The check revealed that security operatives’ failure to come out on time to start enforcement before the residents left their homes might have been responsible for the people defying the government’s total lockdown order.
NAN also reports that the Kwara Government had directed security agents in the state on Sunday to arrest violators of the stay-at-home and movement restrictions order imposed on the state to curtail the spread of Coronavirus pandemic.
“Our markets shall be opened from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“You can only go on foot to nearby markets in your neighborhood to restock your homes with your needs; vehicular movements are prohibited.
“The truth is that we are in a dire situation. Drastic measures, as we have taken, are required to urgently curtail the spread of this virus before it kills everyone or brings down human civilisation as it is threatening to do.
“Government is very displeased with the reckless violation of the no-movement directive,” Alabi told a news conference on Sunday.
“Going forward, punitive actions shall be taken against anyone who violates the regulations.
“All the security agencies have been briefed to arrest violators.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all our markets remain open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 8a.m. and 12 noon for people to restock food and other essentials.”
One of the motorists, Mr Tayo Balogun, blamed the government for the way it was handling enforcement of the lockdown.
“I think the government is confused, they will announce measures they want thousands of people to comply with late, giving few hours to them to restock, who does that?
“These people are playing with our lives, I understand the lockdown order is not easy, but we must fight for our lives, I am not a comfortable Nigerian, but this virus has brought us all down,” Balogun said.
Another residents, Tunji Quadri, who didn’t spare the government of the blame, said Kwara Government was playing kite with their lives.
“I don’t get what the government is doing, what are they doing on Friday or Saturday that they cannot address residents that they are putting some measures in place.
“If you go to some places today, you will see people mingling together as if there was nothing happening, I pray we won’t have an outbreak in Ilorin,” Quadri said.
A young lady, who identified herself as Chinyere, said the government should allow its campaign to get to the grassroots and make it happen at least two to three days before it takes effect.
She said the government should fashion out a way the market men and women would convey their goods to the neighborhood market for residents to patronise.
NAN reports that places like Unity Road, Muritala Mohammed Road, Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Maraba among others were no go areas with a standstill of vehicles.
NAN also reports that vehicles without any genuine reasons for coming out were directed to ‘A’ Division Police Station.