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COVID-19: Lockdown extension in nation’s collective interest – BMO

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The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), has urged Nigerians to comply with President Muhammadu Buhari’s stay-at-home extension order in the nation’s collective interest.

BMO Chairman, Mr Niyi Akinsiju, in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the President had little or no choice than a two-week extension of the lockdown on Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Akinsiju said: “The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has urged Nigerians in the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic to abide by the extended stay-at-home directive in the nation’s collective interest.

“There is no one that has more information than President Buhari on the trajectory of the virus in local communities or the capacity of the relevant authorities to stem the tide of infection.

“So, for him to take what he described as a painful decision in his nationwide broadcast, and even alluding to the choice between life and death, then Nigerians should know that it was a well-thought-out position.

“Even in countries with more developed health facilities, the emphasis is on physical distancing with little or no movement of people at this time because it is the most effective way of limiting community transmission of the virus.

“The alternative is to ease the lockdown and have a situation like that of Ecuador which has recorded so many deaths from the virus attack,” the BMO chairman said.

According to him, dead bodies are also abandoned on roads and coffins have become so scarce in Ecuador.

“In that country, they now resort to cardboard coffins.

“Even the US, with its acclaimed health facilities, is recording an average of 1,500 deaths on a daily basis.

“This is the kind of scenario the President is making efforts to avoid.

“A country like India, with its 1.3 billion population and more people per square kilometre, has just extended its nationwide lockdown by 21-days after the expiration of an earlier three-week stay-at-home directive.

“Nigeria’s Coronavirus figure is low in relation to its population when compared to other countries and this has a lot to do with the manner the Buhari administration has risen to the challenge.

“We urge the citizenry to continue to abide by the federal government’s directives.

“It is our considered opinion that if we unlock prematurely, we may lose what we gained in two weeks in a few hours,” Akinsiju said.

He commended the decision to expand the scope of beneficiaries of government palliatives but also encouraged Nigerians to lend a helping hand in their immediate communities.

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