Lagos Computer Village market leader (Iyaloja), Mrs Abisola Azeez Isokpehi, has thrown her weight behind the state government over closure of the market amid growing concerns for the deadly Coronavirus.
The Iyaloja, who spoke to our correspondent, described the measure as a welcome idea.
Recall that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had on Tuesday ordered closure of nonessential markets and stores across the state, with effect from Thursday, in a bid to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Mrs Isokpehi commended the government for the step, saying that it was one of the best ways to compel people to stay indoors in order to reduce body contacts to a large extent as a preventive measure against the virus.
“This is a welcome idea and we all support it,” the Iyaloja said.
“It’s in the best interest of all of us. We all know that we ought to stay at home to avoid further spread of the virus through contact. Many times even when people see the danger of what they are doing they find it very difficult to stop. For instance when we are supposed to use pedestrian bridges to avoid the risk of being knocked down by vehicle, yet many will choose to cross the roads. But if task force officers are deployed to apprehend defaulters, people will comply to use the bridges. That means often than not, people need government presence to enforce strict compliance to any given order before they can obey directives.
“We know we should stay at home and avoid crowded places; and market places are usually crowded. But because people want to make ends meet, they want to make their daily income hence they keep coming to the market until the worst will happen.
“But the government does not want the worst to happen and that was why His Excellency, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu directed that markets to be closed. And because we know this is in our own best interest, it is a welcome development.”
Meanwhile, the market leader however noted that efforts had been put in place in the market community in taking necessary precautions to prevent the virus.
She said: “Prior to the announcement of the closure of the market we have been doing a lot of sensitization programme on our own whereby we had a rally held across the market telling our people what measures to put in place to stay safe from coronavirus.
“In the same vein, we deployed task force officers to man different spots with sanitizers for people to sanitise their hands as they go in and out of the market.
“And before then we had done partial closure of the market, that for instance the major gate was shut so that vehicles won’t be able to come in and occupy the little spaces we have so that people could have enough space to maintain social distancing because if there is enough space for people to walk around there will be less body contact. And we shared sanitisers to our people from what we got from donors such as Sterling Bank.
Mrs Isokpehi also commended the government decision to have in its wisdom decided to bring markets with essentials such as foods, drinks, drugs close to residents.
“This is good for Lagosians so that they won’t have to go too far from home to get these essentials; so the less they travel, the less they are likely to come in contact with the virus. But if all markets are to be closed people will die.”
She further implored residents to do as the government says, adding that “safety of lives is more important because it is when you are alive in good health that you think of going out to your places of businesses.”