President Buhari announces phased, gradual easing of lockdown

"The party further described as saddening that President did not address the demands by Nigerians to end his administration's political parochialism and engage competent hands, including indigenous researchers, equipment manufacturers, pharmaceutical, medical as well as virology experts to infuse homegrown therapeutic solutions in the overall effort".

The President disclosed this on Monday in a nationwide broadcast.

"For the avoidance of doubt, the lockdown in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States shall remain in place until these new ones come into effect on Monday, 4th May 2020", Mr Buhari said.

Buhari also said there will be an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am when all movements will be prohibited except for essential services.

The state government acknowledged the deaths but said they were caused by complications from hypertension, diabetes, meningitis and acute malaria and not the COVID-19 pandemic.

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With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. The states will work together to share best practices.

Three states; the capital, Abuja, the commercial hub of Lagos and Ogun in the south-west, are now in the fourth week of a lockdown, extended from an initial two weeks.

The president first announced total a lockdown in major cities for 14 days on March 29 and extended it on April 14 for another 14 days. There will be partial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services to allow for the movement of goods and services from producers to consumers and we will strictly ensure the mandatory use of face masks or coverings in public in addition to maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene.

He also announced an immediate two-week lockdown in Kano, the country's most populous state, after officials said they were investigating a series of "mysterious deaths".

Millions of Nigeria's 200 million citizens, more than 20 million of whom live in Lagos, live on daily wages, and the lockdown left many without money to buy food. Furthermore, the restrictions on social and religious gathers shall remain in place.

"The federal government shall deploy all the necessary human, material and technical resources to support the state in controlling and containing the pandemic", Buhari said.

  • Sonia Alvarado