By Monsuru Olowoopejo
Indications have emerged that the Federal Government may relax enforcement of ongoing lockdown imposed to flatten the curve of coronavirus in the country for Easter celebration.
The move to relax enforcement on lockdown followed a declaration by the government that earlier arrangement of Friday, April 10 and Monday, April 13, as public holidays to mark the 2020 Easter Celebration, still stands.
A top government official told our correspondent that President Muhammadu Buhari led-administration was considering plans to relax the lockdown imposed a week ago during his state broadcast, where he restricted movements in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states as a measure to tackle coronavirus after the three cities became flashpoints for the virus.
Another official stated that the government may not announce publicly that it had relaxed enforcement but travelers, especially those who traveled out of these states and could not return home after the announcement was made, would be allowed to have access to leave wherever they are to there destinations.
The official added that the signpost to government plan was infused in the statement issued by Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who announced the holiday and congratulated Christians ahead of the celebration.
He noted that is the government does not have the intention to relax enforcement, the minister would not have issued the statement, saying, though he was silent on whether the enforcement would be relaxed or not.
“Do not forget that after the President’s speech, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Minister of Finance, addressed the press that financial institutions have been excluded from the lockdown. So, that is an indication that relaxing the enforcement during this festive period may not be announced but Nigerians will only discover at during that time,” he added.
Aregbesola had yesterday declared in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah, urging Christians in the country to emulate the outstanding characteristics of Jesus Christ amongst which were tolerance, love, peace, and compassion.
The minister appealed to Christians to use this year’s Easter celebration to pray for Nigeria and the entire world at this time of the global emergency of COVID-19 Pandemic, as another medium of supporting the Federal Government efforts to flatten the circle of coronavirus pandemic
He reminded Nigerians of the need to adhere strictly to the measures put in place by relevant authorities towards preventing the spread of the virus in the country particularly, through the observance of social distancing, in addition to regular personal hygiene and sanitary practices.