The decision of the Lagos State government to impose a 24-hour-curfew in the state is like telling protesters in Nigeria to take their protests online.
We are worried about the rising health concerns and also notes that there is need for caution.
The wave of protests in Nigeria is taking a new dimension.
Youths have raised their voices against police brutality, with an #EndSARS demand ringing from the west to the East. The wave is sweeping through from the south to the north.
Basically, they want and end to police brutality, good governance, inclusion of youths in governance and a few other things.
Interestingly, these protests in Nigeria had been peaceful for 13 days, but the trend is changing.
Some troubling scenes are emerging at different locations and the government is linking the issue to the protest.
Thugs have set a Police Station in Orile Iganmu on fire moments ago in Lagos State. pic.twitter.com/MUU1OXTaiN
— Aproko Doctor (@aproko_doctor) October 20, 2020
Churches had joined the protests, raising their voice in prayer, but as the days go by, concerns rise.
The protests are happening at a time that there is a pandemic, but the people do not care.
Being in the middle of a pandemic, there are social distancing rules and other health practices that are to be observed.
However, these is not the case in most of the protest grounds and the situation is worrisome.
Health concerns is top in the issues that are coming up amidst this protests in Nigeria.
Really, there is need for evaluation of the protest that is allegedly taking a new turn.
Here are some rising health concerns that we have noticed which you should watch out for.
1. Spread Of COVID-19
Physical contact is one major means of spreading COVID-19 and that is increasing among protesters.
Lagos State has the highest cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria and that is where the protest is loudest.
In the last few days, the number of new cases has also increased, reinforcing health experts concerns about protests.
2. Mounting Stress And Lowered Immune System
To stay safe at a period of pandemic, everyone needs a strong immune system.
Sadly, we will not rule out the fact that the protest could be a source of stress to many protesters. This compromises their health and makes it vulnerable for anti-bodies’ attacks.
Poor Eating Habit
While people protest, less attention is paid to the food they eat. Grab a bottle of sweetened drink and sausage and then be on the move. These kind of feeding habit lowers immune system.
3. Pollution Resulting From Burnt Buildings
The level of pollution being experienced now is increasing with pockets of violent scenes popping up.
Disturbing images and videos of a car pack set ablaze by hoodlums in Abuja and the police station burnt in Lagos are sources of pollution.
The fume goes up and is inhaled, further weakening the immune system and making an individual’s health vulnerable.
When protests degenerates to destructions, the government is bound to take a drastic measure.
4. Clamp Down
Just as we are putting this article together, the Lagos State government announced a 24-hour-curfew.
A statement to this effect by the Governor, Babajide Sanwolu, read: “I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society.
“Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on our State.
“As a government that is alive to its responsibility and has shown a commitment to the movement #ENDSARS, we will not watch and allow anarchy in our dear state.
“I, therefore, hereby impose a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State as from 4pm today, 20th October,2020.
“Nobody, except essential service providers and first responders must be found on the streets”.
There will be a rush to stock up and this will further make the day a stressful one for everyone.
The kids are back at home and parents will have to coordinate them and deliver on their jobs.
This clamp down is another concern, as it may result in a twist to the direction the protest is taking.
In all, the bottom line is that we can all continue the protest on social network since hoodlums who know nothing about this protest are derailing it.