Chuks Onuoha, Aba
Some residents of Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia State, have defied the state government lockdown order to look for their daily bread.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu had on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, ordered a gradual lockdown of the state to avoid possible entry of carriers of the dreaded global pandemic called Coronavirus into the state.
The order included buses taking a few passengers, and traders procuring hand-washing materials for customers at their shops and stalls.
The government later began a complete lockdown of the state on April 1, to ensure coronavirus does not get into the state which is yet to record any case.
And for a few days, Aba residents obeyed the sit-at-home order. But today, some of the residents were seen on the streets of Aba, going about their businesses despite government order.
Some of them revealed that they were blaming the government for their inability to obey the order of the state government.
Some non-essential business persons were seen operating their shops, stating that they had run out of cash to continue staying at home.
Shops along Abia State University Teaching Hospital Road and other adjoining streets had barbing saloons, electrical and electronics shops, and other businesses dealing in general wares operating.
Also, some transporters who defied the order were seen taking more passengers than they were approved to carry by the government for the safety of the lives of people.
A driver who refused to disclose his name said that he was taking more passengers because there were few vehicles on the road trying the take many passengers to their destinations.
However, Mr Ndudiri Anyaehie, a resident told Daily Sun that government was responsible for residents flouting their order.
He said that if the government had paid workers salaries before the lockdown, they would have bought food items that would enable them to stay at home for this period.
“If both the state and Federal governments had provided food before the lockdown, people would have obeyed the order; it is lack of money that is driving people out at this time so that they can get food items for their families”, he said.
He said further that it would be hard to get up to 70% compliance on the government’s order in Aba since the government had failed to get the feeding needs of the people during the lockdown.
“If our government does the right thing, they will get the right reaction,” he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu started the distribution of food items and other essential materials to the vulnerable ones in the state today to cushion the effect of the lockdown.