Some traders in Anambra state have faulted the state government for relocating all the food markets across 181 communities to village squares, motor parks, schools fields and civic centres.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr John Abang, had in a release signed on his behalf by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Haruna Muhammed, announced that the order to shutdown food markets and relocate them to new locations was aimed at enhancing social distance and hygiene throughout the lockdown period.

“The essence of the new locations is to restrict commercial activities to food items and other approved essentials and to ensure that buying and selling hold within a well spaced environment that permits observance of the social distancing protocol. The markets in every community will operate between 8am and 3pm daily,” the release maintained.

But speaking to Blueprint while monitoring the level of compliance to the order at Enugwu-Ukwu, Nodu, Ebenebe and Nnewi communities in Njikoka, Awka South, Awka North and Nnewi North Local government areas, the traders vowed to boycott the new markets as they lack facilities should the government fail to reconsider its decisions.

Blueprint had observed that while all the major entrance to the markets had wash hands buckets and hand sanitisers, the traders were not only jampareded against the principles of social distancing but also seen sharing umbrellas and chairs while displaying their wares onground under the scorching sun.
Some of them including a butcher, Nze Martins Chiemego, fruit and vegetable dealer, Mrs Grace Aniagor, and Mr Agozie Ikpeama, garri seller, contend that most traders who could not bear the consequences of exposing themselves to sun and diseases had decided to stay at home or hawk their goods in streets.
Similarly, some customers such as Rev. Ifeanyi Okolie, Mrs Evelyn Chinwuba, and Chief Uche Okosi argued that the relocation would be an effort in futility if traders and customers were still not keeping to the social distance due to size and nature of the new environments.
Some of them also bemaoned that the new market locations were far away from homes despite that vehicular movements had been restricted, thereby making it difficult for all, and implored the government to return them to their previous locations so as to contain untold hardships already meted on the masses due to the lockdown.
Axact

ANAMBRA UPDATE

Anambra Update is an independent publication, established in 2012 for the purpose of presenting balanced coverage of events, and of promoting the best interests of Anambra and Ndigbo in extention. It owes allegiance to no political party, ethnic community, religious or other interest group. Its primary commitment is to the integrity and sovereignty of the Federation of Nigeria, and beyond that to the unity and sovereignty of Igbo Social-Cultural Race

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