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COVID-19: Abuja residents react as Buhari eases lockdown

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Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have applauded the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to ease the lockdown imposed on the capital city to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The president had on Monday, in a nationwide broadcast, announced the decision to ease the lockdown and partial return to businesses in the FCT from May 4.

The residents expressed their feelings in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Abuja.

Mr. Leo Sanni, a statistician, said it was a wise and timely decision as further extension of the lockdown would have taken a heavy toll on families.

According to Sanni, some certain people depend on daily income to cater for their families; and that it will be an economic disaster for such class of people if the lockdown remains in effect.

Mrs. Nene Efretuei, a business woman, said the president had demonstrated insight and understanding following the decision to ease the lockdown.

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Efretuei said at a point, people started entertaining fears that either the world was coming to an end, or something very bad was about to happen.

“This type of thing has never happened before, it is unheard of that people cannot even attend Church services or go about their businesses because of a disease.

“I have been seriously affected by the lockdown, since I cannot open my shop and I am not making sales.

“In fact I had to resort and forcibly adjust to a lifestyle I was not prepared for or ever experienced,’’ she said.

She said that though the palliatives to reduce the hardship as a result of the lockdown were for the less privileged, she would not reject such help if it was extended to her.

Mr. Henry Oshiohkamele, an asset manager with a pension firm, said the index figures at the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), was not promising due to the lockdown.

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According to Oshiohkamele, the economy is slowly plunging into a recession with the lockdown and prolonging it will be a disaster for both personal and national finances.

Mr. Aniebiet Peter, an internal auditor said the president’s decision was the right option considering the bleak economic outlook it was portending.

“People who work in private companies were beginning to entertain fears of job losses.

“Hope was beginning to dwindle for people who have begun to panic as their survival was hanging by a thread,” Peter said.

He said it was a good idea; but emphasised on residents following the conditions for easing the lockdown.

Ms Cecelia Utong, a hotel manager said business was not the same with the lockdown in place.

“We were losing customers and patronage, but with the president’s latest decision, I hope things shall pick up soon,’’ Utong said.

She expressed hope that with the return to normalcy and strict adherence to the preventive measures outlined by the NCDC, the spread of the virus would not escalate.

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