The national inter-state lockdown

THE 36 state governors unanimously agreed after a virtual meeting on Wednesday, April 22, to the implementation of a national inter-state lockdown over a period of two weeks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The governors reached this decision after available evidence showed that community transmission of the virus had resulted in its spread to many of the states.

The move by the governors is a good one. This is evidenced by the adoption of the suggestion by President Muhammadu Buhari, who during his third broadcast to the nation since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease announced a ban on inter-state commuting except for those on essential duties. Banning inter-state commuting indefinitely is a sure way to beat the new coronavirus spread given the way Nigerians live and move. The transport system of the country has scant respect for social distancing and so is the country’s style of living: the majority of Nigerians live in clusters. So, stopping the community spread of the virus without placing restriction on internal movements would be herculean. Many countries that have been able to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19 also restricted citizens’ movement as a strategy to beat the spread of the virus.

The major benefit of inter-state movement restriction is that when the virus is contained in a community or state, tackling and defeating it become a lot easier than when it is allowed to spread to every part of the country as the particular state or community that has become the epicentre can be singled out and resources deployed to the affected place to curtail the spread of the virus. The restriction is coming a bit late: if the Federal Government had speedily responded when COVID-19 became a pandemic and shut the airspace while also restricting inter-state movements, the virus would have been kept away from the shores of the country and it would not have been exposed to the danger of community transmission of the virus.

However, as good as it is to restrict inter-state movement, our concern is the enforcement of the order. Despite the total lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Ekiti states, a COVID-19 patient was able to move from Lagos to Ekiti unhindered. How did that happen? Where were the security operatives? How was the person able to beat all the checkpoints from Lagos to Ekiti? Similarly, a Customs official infected with Covid-19 was able to travel from Kano State to Oyo State when both Oyo and Osun states had shut their borders. Nobody has been able to explain how he meandered his way from Kano to Ibadan in Oyo State. Then, Kano State’s Covid-19 index case was said to have travelled from Lagos to Abuja before finally arriving in Kano State where he attended Jumaat service and engaged in other social activities, doing all these while both Lagos and the FCT were in total lockdown. How did this happen? These are questions that managers of the country’s security apparatus must provide answers to.

Does the resolve of security operatives to enforce compliance genuflect to monetary inducement? Are there orders from above to allow some people break the law? Are the security operatives properly motivated to uphold the laws of the land? If infractions of the order happened in the past, what guarantee is there that they won’t happen again?

The president and the state governors should realise that banning inter-state travels is not the magic wand that would stop the spread of the virus; it is the implementation of the order that can give the country its desire. They must therefore be determined to do everything to deter the breach of the order to save the country from the paralyzing effects of Covid-19.



Buy and read digital replicas of your TRIBUNE titles by subscribing through E-VENDING


Customs Closes Gate To Stop Oyo Govt From Returning 1,800 Bags Of Rice
The imbroglio between the Oyo State government and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) over the 1,800 bags of rice continued on Wednesday with the Oyo/Osun command closing its gate and refusing the state government access into its Ibadan premises to return the bags of rice… Read full story

Nigeria To Fully Repay N1.224trn IMF Loan By 2025
Nigeria is to fully repay the $3.4 billion (N1.224 trillion at N360/$1) International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan approved on Tuesday by 2025. This is as a finance expert, Professor Uche Uwaleke, warned that government’s decision to take the loan was unreasonable… Read full story

Covid-19: Osun Raises Alarm Over Influx Of Zamfara Youths Into State
Osun State government on Wednesday night raised the alarm over the influx of Zamfara youths into the state. The Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, Prince Adeyanju Abdullah Binuyo, who disclosed this in an interview, said the government was aware of the influx but urged the residents… Read full story

Herbal Solution To Combat Coronavirus Will Be Ready Soon, Says Ooni Of Ife
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, on Wednesday, said that the herbal solution to fight the coronavirus dpandemic is at the advanced stage with traditional medicine practitioners. The traditional ruler made this known in an interview with newsmen in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, shortly after donating two… Read full story

Vaccines: UK To Spend £330m Per Year On 75m Children In Poor Countries
The UK, on Wednesday, confirmed that it will be the largest supporter of the international alliance to vaccinate children against deadly diseases, saving millions of lives… Read full story

Runny Nose, Sneezing Unlikely Signs Of COVID-19
When Mrs Adene Haruna returned home from the office, she immediately decided on self-isolation because she had been with a colleague with a cold and who was feeling unwell a few days back that was later confirmed to have COVID-19… Read full story

Covid-19: Kano Govt Arrests Fleeing Patient, Trails Two Others
The Director Infection Control Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) and chairman, Risk Communication Committee on COVID-19, Professor Isah Abubakar has confirmed the arrest of one of the three patients who fled after testing positive for coronavirus in Kano State… Read full story

COVID-19: Governors To Establish Common Macroeconomic Assumptions For 2020 Budget Review
In response to the fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sub-national governments, the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) Secretariat on Wednesday unveiled plans to provide technical assistance to state governments to establish common macroeconomic assumptions that will help states prepare revised budgets for 2020… Read full story

Lagos Govt Suspends Okada Operations, Says Buses, Others To Carry 60% Of Passenger Capacity
Lagos State government on Wednesday introduced strict framework for movement and re-opening of businesses ahead of the Monday expiration of the lockdown imposed by the Federal Government on Lagos, Ogun states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)… Read full story

65 Fun Seekers Land In Police Net For Holding Birthday Party Inside Hotel In Lagos
Sixty five people who came to have a birthday party at a hotel in Lagos State on Wednesday have been arrested by men of the state police command. They were arrested while dancing and making merry at Park Hotel, 84, Augusto Close, Oko Oba in Lagos, as some of them, including women, were found with hard drugs… Read full story

Hope Rises For Akeugbagold’s Twins As Abductors Communicate With Family’s ‘Big Brother’
There is hope in the horizon for the release of the abducted twin of Ibadan-based Islamic cleric, Taofeek Akeugbagold, as the abductors have established line of communication with the family. Tribune Online gathered that the abductors are communicating not with the parents of the twins but with someone referred to… Read full story

EDITORIAL: Covid-19: Evacuating Nigerians Abroad
THE report that there are 300 Nigerians awaiting evacuation from the Guangzhou province of China is one which should make the blood of every patriotic Nigerian boil. According to the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), the Nigerians consisting of businesswomen and men are currently starving, having… Read full story

The Role Of Traditional Rulers – Sanusi The Genius: A Case Study (6)
IN rounding off my discussions on the paramountcy of traditional rulership in pre-colonial and post-independent Nigeria, I consider it expedient to reiterate the need to accord monarchs and traditional chiefs across Nigeria the much-needed constitutional recognition in the running of governmental affairs across the… Read full story

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More