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Lagosians complain of hunger only days into coronavirus lockdown

Lagos residents have demanded food from the government days after a coronavirus-enforced lockdown of activities.

Lagos governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured Lagosians a stimulus package is in place to ease the difficulties associated with the lockdown, but residents are getting more impatient with how quickly they can benefit from it [Twitter/@jidesanwoolu]

President Muhammadu Buhari ordered earlier this week that social and economic activities be shut down in Lagos, Ogun, and the Federal Capital Territory to slow down the spread of the disease that has ravaged the world.

Of Nigeria's 174 confirmed coronavirus cases, as of April 1, 2020, 91 were detected in Lagos, 35 in FCT, and eight in Ogun.

This was pivotal to Buhari's lockdown order, although some state governments have adopted a similar approach even in states where no cases have been recorded.

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A major concern surrounding the lockdown, which kicked off late on Monday, March 30, is the inability of Nigeria's largely poor population to stock up on food and other essentials for survival for the provisional 14 days lockdown.

In videos that are now making their way online, many Lagosians are crying out about hunger that cannot be helped due to the lockdown.

Some Lagosians were filmed having an exchange of words, sometimes heated, with officers of the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps (LNSC) trying to enforce the lockdown.

Ïn a video posted on Twitter on Wednesday, April 1, many of residents loudly declared their hunger while others complained that they also had no money.

"We are hungry," many chorused.

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"No food. No light. How do they want us to stay inside?" another Lagosian questioned.

"No money. Wetin we go eat," yet another resident asked, while another complained there was no money to buy fuel.

A resident can also be heard in the video saying in Yoruba that the virus cannot infect him.

Another resident who approached the LNSC officers with more civility threatened an imminent protest if the government does not provide palliative measures soon.

"The indoors you're asking us to stay, do you know that there's no food for us? Nothing that they (government) have provided for us.

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"If they don't send any money or food for us, we'll protest. We're giving two days. We'll protest in two days," he declared.

Lagos governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, announced an economic stimulus package last week that covers taking food to the doorsteps of millions of residents in Nigeria’s most populous city.

"This first stage is targeting 200,000 households at an estimation of 6 people per household. We hope to ramp it up quickly.

"The stimulus package will contain bags of rice, beans, garri, bread, dry pepper, drinking water and vitamins. We want each ration to last for 14 days as we continue to evaluate the impact of #COVID19.

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"Please stay home with your loved ones. We want the best for you," the governor said.

The Federal Government has also commenced a conditional cash transfer of N20,000 to the country's most vulnerable that will be hit even harder by the lockdown.

Other states that have recorded cases are Osun (14), Oyo (8), Akwa Ibom (5), Edo (4), Kaduna (4), Bauchi (3), Enugu (2), Ekiti (2), Rivers (1), and Benue (1).

Nine people have recovered from the coronavirus disease and have been discharged to resume their normal lives. However, the country has recorded two deaths.

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The patients, who both died in Abuja, had underlying illnesses that jeopardised their conditions, according to authorities.

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