The Bishop of Diocese of Ife, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Olubunmi Akinlade, has advised the Federal Government to consider the economic implications of extending the lockdown beyond next week.
He said some Nigerians might defy any fresh lockdown because the means of livelihood of many had been stopped due to the current lockdown and this had resulted in hunger.
The cleric, in a statement on Friday, commended government efforts to halt the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
He noted that Nigerians were going through hardship and, therefore, government should be cautious of extending the stay-at-home order.
Akinlade said, “Extension of the lockdown is a double-edged sword. Don’t forget that a majority of Nigerians are daily income earners. So, they have to go out to earn a living. Government could succeed to keep them locked in and end up having more people dying of hunger than those who will die of the virus.
“Know this, that should the lockdown continues, people will resist the exercise after a while even though it is for our good and safety. So, there must be a way whereby we can release the people to be able to go and at the same time educate them to practise safety measures in what they do. There has to be a lot of enlightenment at the grass roots because people must go out and earn a living. For the economically disadvantaged people, government palliative scarcely gets to them.”
Commending the Lagos State Government in the way it is containimg the disease, the cleric charged government to treat Nigerians equally, stating that “the rule that applies to the poor should apply to the rich.”