Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Many residents of Kaduna today, shunned the stay-at-home order by the state government barely after one week it was issued. They contended that they were unable to endure the pangs of hunger and had no alternative than to defy the order. They are ignoring the presence of security operatives and found their way to foodstuffs market located at Bakin Dogo, in Kaduna North local government.
Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had earlier ordered a partial lock down of businesses in the state except food and drugs but later declared a total lockdown due to the failure of the people to observe the social-distancing guideline.
When our correspondent visited the market on Monday, some traders, especially those dealing in fruits and vegetables, were sighted displaying their products like they do on normal market days.
Some of them hinged their ‘disobedience’ on necessity saying, they had run out of foodstuffs especially the perishable items like tomatoes, meat and other daily needs, hence, they risked venturing out to the market even when they agreed that it was not safe to do so.
A middle-aged woman, Hajiya Hassana Shuaibu said: “I have to be here today to buy small things to cook for the family. I live inside Tudun Wada which is not far from here. Funny enough, things are not as expensive as expected.
“Yes, I passed through security checks but since I’m not in a vehicle, they did not stop me. I just have to do this. I’m aware of the risk when it comes to Coronavirus and having close contact with people. But you know, children will not understand that. So, I just have to be here,” she said.
A yam seller, Ibrahim Baba, hinted that, his yam business had suffered a serious setback following the curfew imposed on the state.
According to him, though it was the peak of sales for him and colleagues in yam business, he lamented the continuous stay-at-home order, saying “our yams are spoiling and we are yet to recoup the capital we invested.
“We are selling 100 tubers of yam between N25,000 – N45,000 depending on the size. But now, we have the yam but no buyers. We just decided to come around today to see if we can make some sales. It was just a few days last week that we added money. But since Thursday, prices of things have returned to normal but no sales,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State police command said, it had arrested 165 defaulters of the stay-at-home order and impounded 205 vehicles and tricycles.
Spokesman for the command, ASP Mohammed Jalige in a statement on Monday said that suspects would be prosecuted immediately on completion of investigation in accordance with the relevant extant laws of the state.
Jalige said: “Following the imposition of 24 hour curfew by the Kaduna State Government on March 27, 2020,and the initial social distancing order by the Federal and state governments respectively to curtail the devastating spread of the deadly Covid-19, the Kaduna police command under CP U.M Muri in collaboration with other sister agencies has put in place robust enforcement strategies which have recorded significant success in terms of securing compliance from the civil population through community engagement.
“The operatives of the command in collaboration with other security agencies has in the course of the enforcement, arrested 165 people and impounded 205 motor vehicles/tricycles, including the two clerics who violated the curfew and social distancing order and are being interrogated at the command’s Criminal Investigation Department (SCID). The suspects will be prosecuted immediately on the completion of investigation in accordance with the relevant extant laws of the land.”