My dear Lagosians, greetings.
1) It has become necessary for me to address you, once again, on the serious challenge of Coronavirus, the lethal disease the world has been battling, following some developments.
2) First, I would like to salute you for your endurance, following some measures we had announced in our desperate bid to fight and defeat this pandemic, which has changed the way we used to see our world. No aspect of human life – education, entertainment, sports, aviation and others – has been spared by this lethal disease, yet we are determined to halt it in its perilous path by joining forces with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF and many others.
3) President Muhammadu Buhari has just made some pronouncements on the nation’s battle-plan against Coronavirus. He has announced that as from 11pm on Monday 30th of March 2020, movement will be restricted in Lagos State for 14 days. Only people rendering essential services, such as health workers, manufacturers and distributors of health equipment and drugs, food and water companies are expected to go out.
4) Also allowed to move are workers in telecommunications, petroleum distribution and retailing as well as power companies and the media, among others whose jobs cannot be handled at home. I have no doubt in my mind that you will understand that this restriction, tough as it may seem, is a necessary step we must take in our battle against this virus. It is, my dear Lagosians, a matter of life and death. Our choice is clear – life. This means victory over this pandemic, against which there is yet no vaccine. This is why we must co-operate with the authorities as long as this restriction lasts.
5) The restriction, needless to say, will enhance our chances of defeating Coronavirus for the following reasons:
• Our medical workers will have room to move faster to cases that they need to handle;
• The disease will be contained faster as those infected will be easily identified and isolated as the treatment for the disease demands; and
• Social distancing will be enhanced and more people will be prevented from contracting the disease.
6) I would like to address the fears of those who have expressed some security concerns about your places of work and shops during this restriction. I have directed the police and other security agents to ensure that there are no security breaches. They will ensure that criminals do not take advantage of this important measure.
7) The private sector, our market leaders and traders are advised to use the window of opportunity that we have before 11pm to move out inflammable materials, such as petrol, kerosene and others, from their offices and shops, which they are free to open before the restriction begins. They are also advised to switch off all electrical and electronic appliances. These measures are to stave off fire incidents during the 14-day restriction.
8) Members of the public are advised to also use this window to make last-minute shopping in readiness for the restriction.
9) You must have noticed our efforts to disinfect our public places, including parks and highways. The exercise will continue and extend to our rural and riverine areas.
10) As I had earlier promised that the poor and vulnerable among us will not be left to their own devices, we have since started our welfare package for this class of people, those who live on daily earnings and the jobless. The hitches noticed in the distribution of the food package are being addressed so as to make the exercise healthier and more dignifying.
11) Again, let me assure you that there is no need to panic, even as the number of those infected is rising and our fear of community spreading is being confirmed by the cases that are being handled now. This is the time to be more focused on our responsibility in this battle. Let us continue to obey the simple rules prescribed by the experts. These include social distancing, even as we remain indoors, washing of our hands with soap and water as many times as possible, covering our mouths when we sneeze or cough and avoiding any gathering for whatever reason.
12) I salute all our health workers who have been on the frontlines of this battle against an unseen enemy. They have been working round the clock to ensure that we come out of this with our heads unbowed. These men and women are worthy compatriots; we recognise their labour of love.
13) I salute also the comradeship of some members of the private sector, who have joined us in this battle. They have done well.
14) There will be no let-up in our determination to ride out this storm. With your co-operation and the grace of The Almighty, we will surely win this war.
15) Thank you.