Two lawyers have described the extension of lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja by President Muhammadu Buhari as harsh but necessary.
The lawyers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that the extension was well-intended, but costly for residents of the affected states.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had in a national broadcast on Monday night announced extension of lockdown of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states for another 14 days in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
The president had earlier ordered lockdown of the states for an initial 14 days that started on March 30.
The extention began from 11.59p.m on Monday (April 13).
A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Kabir Akingbolu, described the extension as biting but expected.
“The lockdown is actually proper and expected due to the increasing cases of coronavirus, ” he said.
He urged the Federal Government to increase the number of poor people it targeted to give palliatives.
He said that there were millions of poor Nigerians that would suffer from the extension, if not assisted.
He applauded the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for efforts to tackle the pandemic, and urged it to improve its testing capacity.
“The agency has tried but it needs to do more because the ability to only test 1,500 patients daily is low and needs to be improved,” he said.
On the Quarantine Order signed by the president, Akingbolu said that states would need to domesticate it for effectiveness.
Mr Kunle Bamidele, also a Lagos-based lawyer, told NAN that the extension was painful.
He, however, also noted that it was a necessary step.
”It is necessary if we must survive as a nation in the face of the ravaging effect of COVID-19.
” The flipside of this point is that many people are suffering hunger since the majority is dependent on daily income earned from their businesses,” he told NAN.
The lawyer called for transparency in the distribution of palliatives to the vulnerable.
“The palliatives provided by the government leave much to be desired due to lack of transparency in distribution.
“If government will work on this, the effect of lockdown will be cushioned for the masses,” he said.
Bamidele also urged that states locked down by the Federal Government shoud be given priority attention in the distribution of the palliatives.
“By and large, Nigeria will come out of the woods soon, if governments and people jointly fight this pandemic,” he said. (NAN)