In what appears to be a total disregard to observe the measures put in place by the government to help curtail the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, a good number of Lagosians seem to have absolved themselves of the responsibility to adhere to these measures which among others include the use of face mask and maintaining social-distancing.
Going by observation carried out by our reporter, three major points where this total disregard is prevalent are the markets, banks’ ATM galleries, and bus terminals/commercial transport vehicles.
A visit to the BRT Bus terminal at Iyana Ipaja round-about revealed a disorderly queue of passengers which stretched for over 100 metres. The passengers waited for BRT buses plying the Iyana Ipaja-Ikeja route.The delay in these buses arrival was the major reason for the long queue. Even under the scorching sun, the passengers waited as using the BRT bus will cost N100 as against N200 – N300 fare by danfo buses.
Of grave concern was the lack of adherence to physical distancing by those on the queue. Passengers cared less as they lined up closely, easily breathing down each other’s neck.
However, some workers of the BRT service on ground with the help of Neighbourhood Security personnel insisted that every passenger boarding must use a face mask.
The case was not any better in a danfo bus from Ikeja heading to Oshodi. Even with three passengers each on a row of chair, passengers were still non-challant as they did not have any recourse sitting with their bodies touching.
In a brief chat with our reporter, a passenger, Emeka, in the Oshodi-bound bus who was heading to the popular Ladipo spare parts market was indifferent to the use of face mask, saying that majority of people wearing it are doing so just for the sake doing so.
“This matter of wearing mask and not sitting close to another person is just to fulfill all righteousness. People are getting tired. If care is not taken, we go soon forget about it”. He said.
At a branch of Ecobank at Iyana Ipaja, bank customers at the ATM gallery did not fare better as they did not observe the minimum physical spacing. This was also noticed at a GTBank branch at Pako bus stop enroute Ipaja, a densely populated axis on the outskirts of town. Same was the case at First Bank branch at Ayobo.
Another bank branch where lack of physical distancing at their ATM gallery was noticed is Polaris Bank at Ikeja Plaza. A mild drama ensued between two customers at this branch over being too close without the use of a face mask.
Another place where there is total disregard for physical distancing are the markets. A visit to the famous Lagos Island market from Idumota to Oke Arin, showed that inspite the fact that the number of people in the market at the same time has reduced due to the regulation that those selling essentials open on certain days (Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays) while those selling foodstuffs are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, lagosians still struggle with maintaining physical distancing. This was evident at Idumota where a cluster of women surrounded a young man selling second-hand clothes. This was also seen at the market at Ikeja along bus stop.
A trip to Awolowo and Ojuwoye food markets in Mushin showed people moving about freely and gathering at stalls without strict adherence to the preventive measures of the coronavirus.
The experience was not any better at the Mile 12 market. Regarded as the home of foodstuff where sellers from different parts of Lagos go to buy in bulk before reselling in retail at their various markets, there was absolute disregard for the use of face mask and observance of physical distancing.
According to Nasir, a pepper seller who stationed his wares at one of the main gates of the market, the market closes by 6pm. But when asked what he was still doing selling at about 6:35pm on Saturday, he replied that the Mile 12 market was a village on it’s own and that they could sell till when they wished.
At Nasir’s prompting, our reporter went around the market till about 7:45pm, surprised to see fragment of sales still going on in the market despite the fact that the main gates of the market close to the express way had been shut but with sales still on in the main market. Those who stay late in market will exit through the partially locked gates on the back fringes of the market.