The social distance policy directive given by the government to check the spread of COVID-19 is not effective in Abuja and its environs.
Tribune Online checks in the FCT showed that without proper enforcement and in the absence of security personnel, the residents were not complying with the directive.
From Kubwa to Lugbe, Airport Road to the City Centre, residents were not really complying with the directive, as people are still seen in groups and on queue close to one another in some popular centres.
Specifically, in some of the supermarkets where foodstuffs are sold, people were made to queue at the entrance while their vitals are being taken before they are allowed into the shopping malls.
However, in the process, there was no proper maintenance of social distance in the very long queue.
According to John Akwashiki, who lives in Jabi area of Abuja, “I went out with one of my bosses on Saturday looking for a particular baby food, we were just two inside the car but I can tell you, we went round about five supermarkets but we couldn’t buy anything.
“Sincerely, it is not that the product was not available, but whenever we get to any of these supermarkets, we could not stay because of the crowd very close to one another. We could not just enter and we are afraid to wait in that situation. Specifically, we got to the popular Grand Square; Shahad Store, both at the Central Area, H-Medix in Wuse 2, Shoprite at Jabi, and about another two medium shops in Utako/Jabi.
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“But there was a particular shop in Jabi, they don’t allow customers to enter, you stay outside the small entrance as many as you may be, they asked for what you want to buy, and give to you through the door.”
Mr. Edmund Owuliri, who lives in the PW area of Kubwa, Bwari Area Council FCT said the way people are complying with the directive is deficient. He said: “In all honesty, I have only come out of my house once, that was on Saturday. I went to a drug store to get sanitizer, vitamin C & some oranges. I noticed that the social distancing protocol among the few individuals I saw out there was not too encouraging. Even though some people were putting on face masks, the issue of keeping a safe or the prescribed distance was deficient in my own opinion.”
However, to Sanni Adeiza, who lived at Trade More Estate, Lugbe, “People have complied, and as a matter of fact, the police station in the estate manned officers at the estate gate to ensure that people don’t leave the estate. Those who leave are essential workers like hospital staff. Well, with social distancing, since we are inside this estate, and the majority of people are in their houses or in front of their houses, they are keeping social distance.”
A lawyer and public servant, who simply identified herself as Mrs. Yetunde. M and lives in FHA, Lugbe Estate also said she has not gone out much since the stay at home order started, she, however, stated that from what she heard and noticed, residents have not really kept to the social distance directive.