Opinion

We have Sinned: Eke Awka Traders Beg Obiano

… Vow to Enforce WHO, NCDC Guidelines

Traders, Market Union and COVID-19 Task Force at Eke Awka Market, Awka, are pleading with Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State to re-open the market, even as they regretted their negligence in not complying with the NCDC guidelines to combat the spread of Coronavirus.

This was made known to Fides during an interview with the traders to get their reactions over the shutdown of the market.

Speaking to Fides, Mr Charles Obuekwe, the chairman of Eke Awka Market’s COVID-19 Taskforce, expressed delight with Gov Obiano’s decision to close the market, stressing that it was needful.

‘When the government reopened all the markets in the state, Nnewi, Onitsha Main Market, Nibo and other markets complied with the guidelines outlined by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, but our people in Awka refused to comply.

‘We have mapped out strategies to enforce the COVID -19 Law.

As you can see, we have enough manpower ready to carry out our mandate to the letter, everybody is forced to wear facemask, and adhere to social distancing,’ Obuekwe stated.

He however pleaded with the governor to reopen the market, pledging that the Eke Awka Market Task Force would ensure that rules were obeyed.

In a similar development, Mr Charles Anoruba, the chief of staff, Eke Awka Market Traders Association, (EAMTA), appreciated the efforts of the governor in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus in the state.

‘As the chief security officer of the state, he has shown that he cared for the health and well-being of Ndi Anambra,’ he said, insisting that Gov Obiano had every right to shut down the market, seeing that lives were at risk and that the number of coronavirus cases were fast rising in the state, particularly in Awka

‘We are in total support of any decision the governor has taken. All these trucks you are seeing parked here are carrying goods from Jigawa, Kano and Sokoto and they will remain here for as long as the market remains closed,’ he said.

The women’s leader and secretary of the market union joined the chief of staff to plead with the governor on behalf of the association to consider the plight of the average trader, who, they said, depended on the daily sales they made.

Displaying detecting machines and coronavirus enlightenment banners as indication of their readiness to key-in to the governor’s Health Policy, the association once more assured the Anambra State Government of what they described as absolute compliance with the COVID-19 protocol.

Juliana Ozomba who spoke to Fides said she was not finding the shutdown funny, complaining that her family depended on her daily sales for survival.

She however pleaded with the governor to re-open the market, even as she urged traders and customers to strictly comply with the COVID-19 protocol. She added that the coronavirus was real and that the hardship occasioned by the virus was unbearable.

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