Since the Coronavirus pandemic began in Nigeria, the response of local authorities to stopping the spread has become a subject of controversy.

In Lagos, while Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu swung into action, activating the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Yaba as an isolation centre and begun massive contact tracing, his promise to provide food for 250,000 households went awry and saw residents revolting in some areas.

The enforcement of the lockdown put in place by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State by armed military personnel saw massive human rights violations. 

In Borno State, Governor Babagana Zulum, allowed a three-day prayer session held for the late Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Abba Kyari, and the burial of the father of the former governor of the state, Ali Modu Sheriff, who a died of Coronavirus, violating social distancing protocol.

According to Aaron Mshelia, a Maiduguri resident, it is allegedly responsible for the spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.

He said, "Governors have to understand that it's not all fun and games especially for the masses who might be most affected and be a viable host for community to community transmission of the virus.

"What Zulum and other governors do not realise is that their actions have great influence on how seriously the general public take COVID-19 and in my opinion, they have failed woefully."

For Jameela Waziri, a student of Bayero University in Kano, who voted for Abdullahi Ganduje in the last general election, Kano's response to the virus had been abysmal.

She said, "Yes I voted for Ganduje but this is not what I expected. The whole thing is confusing for ordinary people because government doesn't want to take a stand on the matter. In my area for example, I know boys who swear that Coronavirus is not real.

"This is frustrating for me because Gwaggo (grandmother) lives in the same compound with these guys. If they catch the virus and give her by mistake, she will not survive it."

Khalil Halilu, a dispatch service business owner, who lives in Victoria Island, Lagos, praised the effort of the state government but said much was still to be desired.

He said, "It came as a surprise and everyone is struggling to handle but Lagos has been doing well compared to other states but they will need to prepare more because of the rate at which it spreads.

"There needs to be hospitals and isolation centres to match that place and at the same time considering most of the people working in the country are in the informal sector, so it's tough. There is always room for improvement."

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