Nigeria: COVID-19 - Lafia Motorists, Passengers Violate Protocols

Lafia — Drivers and passengers in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, do not adhere to NCDC protocols meant to check the spread of COVID-19.

At the crowded Lafia Central Motor Park, our reporter observed that nobody was observing social distancing, washing of hands and very few wore face mask.

A passenger at the park, John Ogah, said using face mask in Lafia was a burden as the town was hot.

Ogah added that many villagers came into the town for shopping and that they usually forgot about the COVID-19 protocols.

Another passenger, Mamman Bukar, said, "Travellers try to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, but the economic downturn has forced them to only wash their hands, but when boarding vehicles, social distancing is not observed because four passengers sit on a row."

An official of NURTW said some educated and rich passengers chartered cars in order to observe social distancing.

He said on market days most commercial vehicles did not observe social distancing as they were overloaded with people and goods.

This is happening even as the Governor of the state, Abdullahi Sule, recently expressed worry over the spread of COVID-19 in Lafia.

Gov. Sule said this during the weekly State Executive Council (SEC) meeting at the Government House, Lafia.

He lamented that Lafia with 35 positive cases had overtaken Keffi LGA which had 31 and that Karu LGA had the highest recorded cases, with 78, in the state.

He decried the manner in which some residents ignored regulations put in place to contain further spread of the virus, stressing that government was concerned because Lafia was the seat of power in the state.

Gov. Sule, therefore, called on members of the SEC and the state COVID-19 task force to step up awareness campaign with a view to educating residents of the city on the urgent need to observe and keep all regulations to stop the spread of the virus.

Similarly, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana, warned that government would continue to enforce COVID-19 protocols, urging residents to maintain social distancing, hand washing and use of face mask.

The state Commissioner of Police (CP), Bola Longe, said, "The police have arrested over 400 persons. We want to appeal to the people of the state to be mindful of the way they are flouting the regulations. We will arrest anybody flouting the regulations."

Chairman of NURTW in the state, Alhaji Salisu Adam, said, "We are law abiding Nigerians; we abided by the federal and state governments' directives during the lockdown. And now we are free to operate, but we will observe social distance."

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