Coronavirus: Buhari will speak to Nigerians on lockdown extension [ARTICLE]

Last month, the president ordered that Lagos, Ogun, and Abuja be put on full lockdown, effective March 30, for 14 days, in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

The affected states were, at the time, Nigeria’s most pressing areas of concerns where coronavirus cases had been confirmed.

Lagos remains the epicentre of the virus, recording 176 of Nigeria’s 323 confirmed cases, as of April 12, while the FCT follows with 56 cases.

The initial lockdown is set to end at 11 pm today, with speculations rife that it might be extended further.

During his Easter message over the weekend, the president hinted that restrictions will last as long as needed, but he didn’t directly address the topic of extension.

In direct response to the speculations that have grown online with the approaching deadline, the president’s media aide, Bashir Ahmad, said on Monday that the president will soon address the issue.

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“I can see a lot of questions on whether there will be an extension of the lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun or not, with the initial 14 days expiring tonight, Nigerians will be properly communicated on the next step. For now, as President @MBuhari appealed, stay safe at home,” he said.

With social and economic activities widely restricted, concerns have been raised about the likely terrible effects of the lockdown with many poor Nigerians unable to fend for their daily bread.

An uptick in criminal activities has been reported in communities in Lagos and Ogun over the past two days, with many homeowners resorting to vigilante action, and police authorities believed to be overstretched.

Many have expressed fears that an extension will only worsen the situation in a country where almost half the population, estimated at around 200 million, is considered to be among the world’s poorest.

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Palliatives provided by the state and federal government have been deemed insufficient and badly-distributed, with millions of Nigerians unable to benefit.

The country has recorded coronavirus cases in 19 states and the FCT, as of April 12. 85 people have recovered from the virus and been discharged, but 10 people have died.

States affected by coronavirus

Total confirmed cases – 323

Recovered – 85

Dead – 10

  1. Lagos – 176
  2. FCT – 56
  3. Osun – 20
  4. Edo – 12
  5. Oyo – 11
  6. Ogun – 7
  7. Bauchi – 6
  8. Kaduna – 6
  9. Akwa Ibom – 5
  10. Katsina – 5
  11. Kwara – 4
  12. Delta – 3
  13. Enugu – 2
  14. Ekiti – 2
  15. Rivers – 2
  16. Ondo – 2
  17. Benue – 1
  18. Niger – 1
  19. Anambra – 1
  20. Kano – 1

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