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Lockdown: Imo residents lament price hike, hunger, power outage, non-payment of salaries

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Residents of Imo State are crying out at the coronavirus-induced lockdown, which commenced on Monday as directed by the state governor, Hope Uzodinma.

Though there has not been any recorded case in Imo, fears are heightened that a man who came back from Germany and developed symptoms before he flew to Abuja where he died, had visited his village and his hotel in Owerri. Some of those he came in contact with have been in quarantine under security supervision since last weekend. His hotel, Fancy Hotels, has been under lock and key with all the guests and workers inside.

Residents are also decrying electricity power outages in many areas and the price hike of foodstuff. Some civil and public servants are also groaning that they were not paid February and March salaries before they were directed to stay home and those who went out were subjected to soldiers, police and other security operatives brutality.

On the social distancing issue, many people are not observing it as The Guardian saw a number of persons still shaking hands and hugging. Church services are still holding and other gatherings such as burials, meetings and weddings are still holding in secret.

As at the time of filing this report, the governor was yet to unfold any palliative measure to cushion the effect of the lockdown but said he would do ‘something’ this weekend through the 27 Local Council bosses. Ihiagwa and Ndidi communities in Owerri West Local Council, through their administrative official, Emeka Udopkoro, floated a food bank to distribute food items to their people during this period.

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