By Yemi Adeleye
Lagos – The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) on Tuesday cautioned motorists against hiding under pretences of going to markets to defy the Stay-At-Home order.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government had on Wednesday relaxed total lockdown it imposed on the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The government, in the new guidelines, said that markets selling food will open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., while supermarkets and pharmacies are to open from 10 am to 4 pm every day, but must maintain a high level of hygiene.
Assessing the road situation seven days after the lockdown order, Mr Olajide Oduyoye, the General Manager of LASTMA, said that residents, especially motorists should not hide under the relaxed order to spread Coronavirus.
Oduyoye told NAN that some motoring public had begun to hide under the pretences of going to food markets to defy the lockdown order, flooding the roads with vehicles.
He said that every responsible and reasonable resident should know that the restriction of movement order was meant to preserve lives and not to inflict pains on anyone.
“We should reduce all movements except it is absolutely unavoidable. It is not a must that we must eat everything we used to eat when everything was okay, and jumping into our cars driving about.
“Even though the government, on one hand, is trying to help so that people don’t starve as a result of the lockdown, it does not mean an opportunity for everyone to feel that the lockdown does not make sense.
“The government is not going to follow every vehicular movement into markets to ensure that they go to the markets, we must all join hands to combat Coronavirus that has killed thousands of people.
“I want to plead with all to be very sensible and be more caring about ourselves and others. If the movement is not necessary, stay at home and keep your life,” Oduyoye said.
He said that many of the things people want to buy in the open markets and supermarkets could be obtained on their streets or at a close distance, without endangering their lives.
“It is much more cheaper and better to abide by the lockdown order as much as possible than to bear the medical cost of COVID-19 happening to anyone,” he said.
Oduyoye, however, said that LASTMA officials had been able to clear about 30 breakdown vehicles across Lagos roads to allow those exempted from movement access to use the road.