BY OPAYEMI ARAMIDE
If the deadly virus code-named COVID-19 has claimed many lives in different parts of the world including Nigeria, the people of Igbo Olomu do not seem to care.
It is a neigbourhood in Ikorodu area of Lagos, but there is little or no indication they are wary of Corona virus, much less attach any seriousness to the devastation it is causing already.
This assertion is evident in the way the people have carried on with life, despite fear, anxiety and hardly observing any caution as in other areas.
The Eagle Correspondent who visited the area discovered that only a few people who live but work in places where Covid-19 is well announced serve as opinion leaders to those in the community, but the message is obviously lost on arrival.
Many factors have contributed to this: Igbo Olomu suffers from the lack of basis infrastructure at the centre of which is epileptic electric supply, and thus cannot track the news the way they should.
They do not know the principle and safety of washing hands regularly or if they do, have not shown it the way they have carried on with life.
They thus do not wash their hands regularly but touch the sensitive parts of their bodies indiscriminately.
Regular electricity supply is not the only basic infrastructural facility that the community lacks; there are also no good roads in Igbo Olomu and a lot of businesses are reluctant to set up outlets in the community.
The inhabitants have therefore resorted to supplying the things they need themselves via small retail shops, but this is far from meeting the needs of the community.
Aside sharp price mark-ups, many of the time, the products do not get to the ultimate consumer in their right condition.
In fact, the lack of good road has forced many car owners to park their cars in their compound and go to offices boarding commercial vehicles.
The issue of lack of regular electricity in this community appears to be the most felt. It has accounted to why, n this time of anxiety over the COVID-pandemic, the residents have continued their lives as other times, largely because they are hut out of the news.
Some areas in this community share a transformer while some don’t have at all and this gives an idea of the problem.
In the area of health, it is obvious that Igbo Olomu has not fared better. Though there are several private hospitals, the community has one health clinic The clinic attends majorly to pregnant women and give immunization to babies but cannot attend to emergency cases due to lack of medical equipment.
The inhabitants of Igbo Olomu have been living in ignorance of the virus neither do they know the efforts of the Lagos state government on how to curtail it.
Washing of hands, sanitising the environment and social distance have been part of the precautionary measures against COVID-19, but it is difficult to preach the message in Igbo Olomu.
This is proven by The Eagle investigation which shows that public transporters to Igbo Olomu still carry the same number of passengers, and yet without the provision of sanitisers.
You would wonder, but people go in and out of the community not bothered or conscious of COVID-19.
Igbo Olomu, a community with a an impressive population of people, both young and old, has no primary or secondary school. Kids of 7-8 years of age trek from their houses to schools well beyond the neigbourhood.
This itself has become a disincentive to many parents and guardians and a good excuse to keep their wards out of school.
Stores dealing in both perishable and nonperishable stores are open transacting normal business, and everyone seems to go about their daily activity without worries or consciousness of the deadly virus.
Our correspondent chatted up a Mr Sunday Benjamin, a resident of the area, and his grief and pain was more about the lockdown of stores.
” Is the government ready to feed us? We heard the figures of funds that have been allocated by the federal government and other prominent people in the society but we know it won’t get to us here in Igbo Olomu.
“Buying and sharing of food isn’t the right thing to do. The Government should contact CBN governor and see to how the money would be deposited in each person’s account or why did we struggle to have BVN in the first place”.
Another resident, Mrs Bukola Maria said “Staying indoors won’t work for us here in Igbo Olomu. How do they expect us to feed ourselves and family?
” The government should find solution to the problem of the people this period. Prices of goods have been inflated and a threat.
Feeding the people is not the next line of action because it won’t get to people like us”, she said.
-PICTURES BY ADESIYUN MICHAEL & BOLUWATIFE EMMANUEL