Breaking: Nigerians could face up to N50,000 fine for refusing to stay home

It appears the next few weeks of lockdown won't come easy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

/ by National Pivot

It's true that Nigerians are not smiling for a number of reasons, one of which is being forced to stay home without adequate plans to cushion the effects of shutting down one's source of income.

But if you think hunger is a valid reason to violate government’s stay-home order, then there's bad news for you.

In president Muhammadu Buhari’s Monday covid-19 address to the nation, he spoke on a number of issues from positive progress being made by his administration in the fight against covid-19, to Kano mystic deaths, then Lagos, FCT and Ogun State lockdowns.

But there's one particular line from the President's speech which carried a great deal of weight, but which many might have missed!

In line 42 of Buhari's speech, he said, "In respect to the above guidelines. State Governors may choose to adapt and expand based on their unique circumstances provided they maintain alignment with the guidelines issued above."
This line gives state governor's the freedom to tweak things up "based on their unique circumstances," which is exactly what state Govs wanted.

Recent report by Daily Trust said Bauchi State Governor Bala. Mohammed, (in line with Buhari's line 42 speech) has signed an order to fine violators of Covid-19 movement restrictions between N5,000 to N50,000. This include both essential services workers and pedestrians.

“Pedestriants who violated the partial lockdown would pay N5,000, those on essential services must use face masks or pay the same amount of N5,000 while achaba operators to pay N5,000 also,” he said.

Mohammed said the Executive Order 001 on COVID-19 virus tagged Bauchi State Infectious Disease Prevention Regulations he signed covers the COVID-19 partial lockdown meant to control the spread of Coronavirus across the state.

The chief judge is to set up mobile courts and begin enforcing the order.

“We are coming with this order because we are always governed by the rule of law, we must clearly set out what we want to achieve, we have done the partial lockdown, we have closed markets partially, we have banned the operations of Okada, we have restricted the number of persons to be taken in Keke Napep, and we have suspended all public gatherings. We are doing it in order to protect the lives of our citizens in Bauchi state,” the governor said.
According to him, violators of physical and social distancing, Keke Napep, commercial vehicles, buses coming from other states as well as trucks will pay N5000, N10,000, N20,000 and N30,000 respectively.

Yes, this might be a Bauchi thing, but with rising cases of covid-19 and Nigerians losing patience, particularly due to government’s failure in providing palliatives, other state Govs might consider slapping a fine on residents in order to keep people home.

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