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Osun Residents Flout Lockdown Order, Troop Out at Sunset

Osun Residents Flout Lockdown Order, Troop Out at Sunset
  • PublishedApril 24, 2020

By Solomon Odeniyi

There was no substantial compliance from
​residents of the State of Osun on the stay-
​at-home order declared by the state government, OSUN DEFENDER authoritatively observed.

The second phase of the total lockdown order which began on April 17 and was expected to terminate on Friday, April 29 has witnessed low compliance in comparison with the first order, which began from April 1 to 14.

The order was part of government’s efforts to curtail the spread of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic in the state.

OSUN DEFENDER noted that commercial motorcyclists, petty traders, artisans and other non-essential workers were notorious for flouting the stay-at-home-order, starting from 4 p.m. everyday since the second phase of the lockdown commenced.

It was also noted that the level of compliance with the lockdown order is dropping on daily basis, with the state revving back to life in many areas and localities, especially at evening time.

Apart from major towns where the lockdown is effective at early part of the day, normal daily activities had been ongoing in almost all the remote parts of the state, according to findings.

The police and other security agents on duty have been helpless in effecting the sit-at-home order, owing to the fact that the turnout of people on the roads keep on increasing almost every hour of the day.

It was also noted that some of the barricades mounted by the security agents on major roads are always left unmanned after sunset, a situation that encourage unhindered vehicular movements.

The unchecked situation has been given impression that the state government might have relaxed the lockdown order unannounced.

A resident of Osogbo, the state capital, Mrs. FisayoAkinduro, said in response to public outcry, the order might have been relaxed, to ease the hardship the lockdown has caused, without the government making an announcement or declaration to that effect.

She said: “I guess government did not announce that the lockdown had been relaxed for people not to abuse it. You can see they have not been arresting anybody because of the yearnings of residents.

“The logic is that the government would look irresponsible if it announced the suspension of lockdown after extending it last week. I think the government has relaxed the order. So, things will just go back to normal without any formal announcement.”

But the state government has denied relaxing the order, saying that the second phase of the sit-at-home order is not a curfew but a total lockdown.

Secretary to the State Government of Osun, Prince WoleOyebamiji, in a Public Service Announcement said: “The State Government of Osun hereby reiterates that the second stint of the State-wide 14-day lockdown, necessitated by the need to curb the spread of the COVID-19 in the State of Osun, is not a curfew but a total lockdown.

“This by implication means that the State Government has not relaxed the order to accommodate human or vehicular movements at certain hours of the day during the period of the lockdown. The State Government considers defiance of this directive as civil disobedience.

“Please be informed that all borders remain closed and interstate travels banned till further notice. All gatherings of any nature or density are not allowed. All functions and ceremonies, including burials, are put on hold. All markets remain closed, but traders are allowed to display their wares in front of their houses.

“The State of Osun is not totally in the clear yet, especially with more confirmed cases reported in adjoining states. Hence, the State Government’s directive that its people stay at home in their own interest is a protective measure.

“The State Government sternly warns that the State Emergency Regulation 2020 is in full force, and its full weight will be brought against anyone who runs afoul of it.”

Many of the traders who spoke with OSUNDEFENDER said most of their goods got spoilt during the first phase of the lockdown and that they were not ready to incur further losses, thereby decided to go out to sell their goods at evening time.

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