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Some traders defy government’s order on market closure in Rivers

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike (middle); with heads of security agencies, monitoring compliance with the directive on shutdown of markets to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Port Harcourt…yesterday. PHOTO: NAN


Some recalcitrant traders have defied the Rivers State Government’s order on closure of all markets, as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Governor Nyesom Wike, hinted yesterday, that the state government would introduce some palliatives for residents, which is on a quasi lockdown. Several traders were seen at the Creek Road and Sangana Street market in Port Harcourt selling food commodities.

Some of them feigned ignorance of the Governor’s executive order which declared Coronavirus (COVID – 19) as a dangerous infectious disease based on Sections 2 and 8) of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of The Federation Of Nigeria, 2004.

Angered by the attitude of the traders, Wike was accompanied by the Rivers State Police Commissioner, the State Director of Department of State Services, the Commander Nigeria Air Force 115 Special Operations Group, Port Harcourt, the Commander NNS Pathfinder and the State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to enforce compliance with his directive that all markets in the state should be closed to prevent spread of COVID-19.

During the monitoring process, Wike interacted with security personnel and operatives of the State Task Force on Street Trading and Illegal Motor Parks and issued relevant instructions.

The governor said the state government was committed to checking the spread of coronavirus through some of the tough decisions taken thus far.“We are satisfied with the level of compliance, even though there are those who thought that the closure of markets will not take effect from the first day.

“We will also go out tomorrow (today).  After tomorrow, we will know if we will apply more stringent measures on Monday. What we are doing is to protect the lives of our people. Some people may talk about the inconvenience, but you must be alive to talk about food….”

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