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Partial Lockdown: Osun Residents Ignore Safety Warnings

With the expiration of the lockdown of Osun state by Governor Gboyega Oyetola on Sunday, 3 May 2020, residents of the state trooped out in their hundreds to open up the state for economic activities on Monday.

The partial lifting of the lockdown witnessed the opening of banks, business premises, retail shops, artisan workshops, supermarkets, and the commencement of plying the roads by commercial buses, tricycles, and okada riders.

In the course of taking advantage of the partial lifting of the restrictions, caution was thrown into the winds by residents by swooping on the city centres and business districts of Osogbo, the state capital, to transact one business or the other.

Although there was substantial compliance with wearing of face mask, a lot of residents left their houses without putting the face mask on despite repeated warnings by government that it shall prosecute anyone found to be moving around without wearing it.

The major roads in Osogbo were jam-packed due to high vehicular traffic with long stretch of hold up that kept motorists at standstill in areas like Oke-Fia, Station Road, Ola-Iya Junction, Oja Oba, Aregbe area, Ogo-Oluwa and so on.

Most customers invaded their respective banks without taking personal responsibility for their safety. They were in huge numbers and crowded the frontage of banks like First Bank, GTB, U.B.A, Union Bank, FCMB, and Ecobank.

The situation was so bad at First Bank at Aregbe area, where customers that consisted of OYES cadets, senior citizens suspected to be pensioners and others were locked out of the bank and were all over the adjoining streets obstructing free flow of traffic while struggling to gain access into the bank premises.

Also, at FCMB at Ogo Oluwa area, the bank had to provide canopies and chairs at its frontage to give succour to customers who were waiting in the scorching sun.

The situation was not anyway better at GTB who is also on that stretch. Customers were seen loitering around at the parking lot waiting for the opportunity to enter the bank.

The rowdy situation at the banks was also noticeable at the mini-markets like Alekuwodo and Oja Oba. The situation there clearly negates the social distancing and avoidance of space crowding protocols preached by the state government, as part of precautionary measures to forestall community transmission of the virus.

As part of the rules and regulations guiding residents under the partial lockdown regime, Governor Gboyega Oyetola had in a broadcast last Thursday disclosed that there will be a partial lockdown of Osun state.

He explained that the new partial lockdown regime will commence from 4th May between the hours of 6 am and 5 pm from Mondays to Thursdays which will allow citizens return to their normal lives and also allow the government to run.

Meanwhile, there will be a curfew between 5pm to 6am on the first five days of the week. A total lockdown will be in operation from Fridays to Sundays.

 The experience of the first day of easing the restriction in Osun showed that the government needs more of enlightenment campaigns at the urban areas and the grassroots.

There is the urgent need to create an awareness on the grave implications of carrying on in a business as usual manner. The government has to be firm using the stick and carrot approach to enforce preventive measures that will be in the overall interests of the people of the state.

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