By Temitope Akintoye,
The Lagos State Government has disclosed directives to state Police Command on maintenance of law and order during the soon to be commenced fourteen-day curfew, stating that it would ensure safety of lives and property of its people throughout period of lock down.
It explained that considering fact that stores, shops and outlets around the state would be shut for two weeks, it eas expedient to plan for possible security concers which could arise from nefarious activities of criminals who might want to take advantage of the situation.
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, gave assurance to Lagosians that pursuance to ensuring their safety, he had given directives to men of the Nigerian Police Force, Lagos State Command, as well as other security agencies, tasking them to ensure safety of peoples’ lives and properties, and to mitigate against possible attacks by criminal elements in society.
Speaking in a statement released to newsmen on Monday, Sanwo-Olu reiterated that his administration was on top of the security concerns which were raised by federal government curfew directives, and that measures were being put in place to reduce incidence of negative effects which would be felt by people.
He added that safety of lives and porperty was a collective effort and urged business owners, office administrators, market leaders and traders to ensure that flammable items including Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Kerosene and others were removed from their places of business, and that electrical outlets and appliances were to be switched off, so as to prevent fire incidence during course of the curfew.
The governor, who assured Lagosians that he and his team were set to put in their best efforts in combating the novel viral infection, Covid-19, asked for people’s support in reaching their aim, saying that cooperation was needed to complement government efforts towards disease prevention and control, as also for ensuring people safety.
“I would like to address the fears of those who have expressed some security concerns about your places of work and shops during this restriction. I have directed the police and other security agents to ensure that there are no security breaches. They will ensure that criminals do not take advantage of this important measure,”
“Apart from this, we will also intensify efforts at disinfecting public places, including parks and highways, and will extend this exercise to rural and riverine areas of the state, during this restriction period”.
Sanwo-Olu, however called for calm amongst Lagosians, explaining that prevalent health care crisis of coronavirus had made it necessary that such emergency measures be implemented, and that the restriction of movement would enforce social distancing and aid faster identification and isolation of infected persons, with aim to quickly curb and control the infection in Lagos.
Saying that he understood the pressures which such a measure would place on the people, he said, “As I had earlier promised that the poor and vulnerable among us will not be left to their own devices. We have since started our welfare package for this class of people, those who live on daily earnings and the jobless. The hitches noticed in the distribution of the food package are being addressed so as to make the exercise healthier and more dignifying”.
He stated that Lagosians were expected to comply fully with the curfew directive, which he noted only exempted essential services workers including health workers, manufacturers and distributors of health equipment and drugs, food and water companies, telecommunications workers, petroleum distribution and retailing staff, power companies and the media.
He urged for full compliance to the federal government curfew order, as well as full implementation of preventive measures advised by medical experts, and allowed that though Lagosians had been brave and showed strenght through their response to the coronavirus pandemic, it was of essence that full cooperation with government be given so as to ensure quick and decisive resolution of the health crisis.
Sanwo-Olu expressed his appreciation for support given his administration by Lagosians and assured them that his administration, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), World Health Organisation (WHO), and others, would leave no stone unturned on path to putting an end to coronavirus incidents in the state and country in general.