Relax COVID-19 Lockdown In A’Ibom By One Day- Advises Lawyer

Udom Emmanuel
Udom Emmanuel

Amid the 14-day coronavirus lockdown imposed on Akwa Ibom State, a legal practitioner in the state has called on the government to relax it at least for one day to enable most people to retool their food supplies.

Governor Udom Emmanuel imposed the lockdown on the state with effect from Friday, April 3 after Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, had published that the state has five coronavirus cases.

Speaking in Planet 101.1 FM, Uyo on Tuesday, Ekemini Udim said within this lockdown period, some people might have exhausted their food supplies especially as some food items like vegetables are perishable.

“Let the government relax the lockdown for one day. The government should set conditions for people to observe the rules against the virus. At the same time, the people should observe social distancing directive. It is unfortunate that some people play football during this period because as a contact game it does not solve but compounds contacting the pandemic,” Udim opined.

He argued that the state government should have given people in the state at least for one day before the imposition of the 14-day lockdown to enable many to have stockpiled food items.

To mitigate the sufferings of the people during this period, Udim called on the state government to give palliatives to the indigent and the jobless using what collections accrued from the federation account, and relax payment of taxes.

On the assault of a medical doctor by a policeman during the lockdown, the legal practitioner condemned it in the strong term, wondering the reason the policeman molested and assaulted a medical doctor who was on essential duty and has been exempted from the lockdown.

Meanwhile, some motorists, Keke operators and pedestrians mostly in Uyo, the state capital have observed partial lockdown.

An investigation carried out by Straightnews on Monday, April 6, showed that some major routes in Uyo, Akwa Ibom capital were busy like before the lockdown.

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Passengers along Nwaniba, Oron and Abak Roads, among others were seen boarding and alighting from buses and Kekes, while some drivers and operators were seen diverting from some roads where law enforcement agents mounted roadblocks to ply the streets.

Some bus drivers charge N100 for a distance of N50 before the lockdown and N200 for a distance of N100 despite the reduction of Premium Motor Spirit by the Federal Government from N145 to N123 per litre.

Even most streets were busy as motorists, Keke operators and pedestrians were moving as usual without observing the social distancing directive.

In other streets, some young men were seen playing ball; others were seen sitting in a circle discussing or drinking.