By Ogundeji Oluwatosin Abigail
As much as we know, the COVID-19 pandemic has created quite a number of damages to human race, especially in the area of health, environment and economy.
Health professionals have said that, one of the best ways to prevent this deadly virus from is social distancing and reduction in gathering of people or crowd.
In Nigeria, Lagos state has been the epicentre of the virus, closely followed by Abuja, Ogun and Osun State. The rate at which the virus is increasing among the residents of Lagos is alarming, hence, the state government proscribed all form of gatherings that could have twenty people in attendance.
The social gathering bill, which Lagos State signed into act was intended to stop or reduce gathering in public place, thus, preventing the spread of Coronavirus.
Recently, top Nigerian actress, Funke Akindele’s husband, popularly known as JJC, held a birthday party at their residence in Amen Estate, Lagos state.
Among the guests of this birthday is the ‘trailblazer and King of Malians Kingdom’, Naira Marley, as well as gubernatorial candidate of the Alliance Democratic Party, Babatunde Gbadamosi, who contested against Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu in the last governorship election in Lagos state. He is equally the owner of Amen Estate.
Unfortunately, the popular actress was arrested alongside her hubby, JJC by the Lagos state government and Nigeria Police on the violation of the Lagos social distancing law.
The couple was given a community service judgment and one hundred thousand naira fine for violating the state law.
In a funny twist of matter, during the court proceedings, throngs of reporters and policemen accompanied the couple. The reporters were seen in clusters and swarming the couple while the couple was seen with face masks, protecting themselves in that situation.
The questions that pop up in minds are: ‘Who is fooling who?’ Would the government explain why a court proceeding with such number of people in attendance, to happen after signing the act on social distancing? Is there something they are not telling the masses? Can it be inferred that this is actually the fight between the powerful and powerless? Or, it is a ploy used by the government in making a big unnecessary hole out of molehill? Is Funke just the government’s scapegoat to create pubic fear or a political move by Lagos Landlords given the fact that there’s a contending figure there in person of Babatunde Gbadamosi.
Like a friend asked, “what is the essence of an open trial when a video trial can suffice?”
With the reporters and policemen mixing sweat, bacteria and possibly the virus the government is trying to prevent, will it be right to call the government’s action a passing shadow? – The more you look at it, the less you see it.
Consequently, Naira Marley was declared wanted by the police and reports have it that he already gave himself in, and is to be appread by the magistrate court in Lagos soon. Also, the owner of Amen estate was also arrested for the same offence.
Will the reporters be arrested too since they violated the act? Or the act only applies to the powerless influentials?
Still keeping our arms crossed.