By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
Edo state government on Friday ordered the immediate shutdown of Lagos Street, an epicentre of trade and commerce in Benin City metropolis, to check the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
Though called Lagos Street which was said to have been the route to Lagos in the 50s, the almost one-kilometer road is dominated by traders and businessmen from the north and has been one of the terminal points for migrants coming from the north.
When Saturday Vanguard visited the area yesterday, all the adjoining roads were cordoned off by security agencies.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the decision to shut down trading activities on Lagos Street, followed the refusal of residents to comply with the state government’s directives to participate in the ongoing screening and testing exercise for COVID-19, as part of efforts to contain the pandemic.
He said, “The Edo State Government has ordered the immediate shut down of all form of activities including trading on Lagos Street, a business hub in Benin City, over refusal of the residents to participate in ongoing screening and testing exercise to halt the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Osagie said Lagos Street will remain closed to activities until residents in the area take part in the exercise to protect themselves and other members of the public, noting, “The participation of all residents in the exercise is important in curtailing the spread of the virus in the state.
“Being a business hub, a large number of residents in Benin City and other parts of the state visit Lagos Street daily for various activities making the area a hotspot for the spread of COVID-19.
This makes it important for residents and other persons in the area to participate in the exercise. Lagos Street will remain closed to all forms of activities until the residents participate in the screening and testing exercise.”