Nigerians stranded as regions close doors over virus

An officer of Ogun State Road Safety Command tries to block the expressway to prevent motorists from driving into Lagos.

An officer of Ogun State Road Safety Command tries to block the expressway to prevent motorists from driving into Lagos.

AFP/Pius Utomi Ekpei

WARRI - Thousands of Nigerians have been left cut off from homes and businesses as states across Africa's most populous nation have shut their borders to halt the spread of coronavirus. 

Central Benue on Wednesday became the latest of Nigeria's 36 states to ban all movement in and out, meaning swathes of the country have become impassable. 

READ: Lagos deserted as lockdown kicks in

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday ordered a total lockdown in largest city Lagos and the capital Abuja. 

But a string of regional governors around the country have taken matters into their own hands and unilaterally ordered the closure of their state borders. 

READ: Nigerians brace for lockdown as Africa tries to halt virus

The governors -- powerful players in Nigeria's federal system -- insist the strict measures are needed to contain the disease as Nigeria has so far registered 151 confirmed cases and two deaths. 

But the moves have sown confusion and left many stranded.  

Thousands have crowded on a bridge across the river Niger trying to cross between Delta and Anambra states in the oil-rich south of the country. 

Source
AFP