President Muhammadu Buhari will need to take a very difficult decision concerning the possible lockdown extension on Monday as Coronavirus continues his trips across the states of Nigeria.
Since February when the first confirmed case of Coronavirus was imported into the country, the lifestyle of Nigerians have changed either voluntarily or involuntarily.
The countries index case was detected in Lagos State and later Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja got their own share of the cases with some other states joining the queue.
That prompted the President to declare a lockdown in these three locations as a way to stem further spread of the virus. The first batch was 14days and during this period, the pandemic switched from being imported to spreading to the communities.
Knowing the fact that community spreading is going to be difficult and hard to control, President Buhari was left with no choice than to extend the lockdown by another 14days.
The reactions from Nigerians to the extension was more intense compared to those that followed the first 14days lockdown order. The lockdown order which was at that time the trend in other countries like China, the world Coronavirus epic centre, United Kingdom and some parts of Untied States, was rather strange to Nigerians.
Nonetheless, considering the reality of things in Nigeria, couples with the fear that we as a nation do not have the capacity to bear the heavyweight of a full blown Coronavirus pandemic, the extension was the best thing to do.
Agreeing that it was the best could only come from those who have food to eat, or a means for survival that is not affected by the lockdown not to forget that businesses have been forced to shutdown with thousands losing their jobs and businesses.
The government of each State where lockdown has been declared initiated measures to enforce compliance, so defaulting was not such a good thought despite cries of hunger and starvation.
Many opined that many who are been advised to stay away from public gathering to avoid contracting the virus might end up dead in the hands of hunger. A lot of stakeholders requested an end to the lockdown giving hunger and economic woes as supportive reasons, but President Buhari hinged his resolve on advice from medical practitioners.
During this back and forth, the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus and deaths of its victims in Nigeria continued to raise as community transmission is also recorded to be on a scary increase.
States where there were no records of Coronavirus also joined the league of states with confirmed cases while Kano State records a worrisome spike in its number of confirmed cases.
Now, there are few hours left for the lockdown extension to laps, and the question is what will President Muhammadu Buhari do next? Before this question answered, it would be good to remember that all the governors of the 36 states of the federation held a meeting agreeing for a two weeks national lockdown.
According to them, this would help to identify and isolate victims of the virus across the country as a way to avoid the nation from heading for the worse.
Amidst all of these, some states are relaxing the lockdown order in their states to allowing residents restock, and allow some religious activities especially now that the Islamic Ramadan fast has begun.
President Buhari is faced with making the decision he thinks is best for the nation and its people. While he thinks of the adverse effect of a possible lockdown extension on the economy, the rate which hunger is dealing with his people and the consequences of a full blown Coronavirus pandemic in a developing country like Nigeria.
The World Health Organisation, WHO, United Nations, UN, and other reputable organisations have worried about the capacity of Africa in dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. They say if developed countries of the world could be overwhelmed by the virus, then how would Africa cope?
Death toll from Coronavirus complications in the US has risen about fifty thousand while that of UK is over twenty thousand. The reality of these data might not be clear to all, especially those who have not been able to feed since the lockdown order was given.
Considering these and many not highlighted here, President Buhari would be expected to address that nation soon and the next step to be taken on this pandemic would be expected from him.
What would his resolve be? Should we expecting another extension to the lockdown from President Buhari and if there would be, how long would it be this time?
Will there be an end to this lockdown soon? Should a state of emergency be declared on the account of this pandemic? President Buhari has the crown, on his head, and he owns the decision and we all will be here to bear the consequences.