Okey Sampson, Umuahia, Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure and Ben Dunno, Warri
The taskforce on the enforcement of the lockdown order by Abia State Government on COVID-19 was on Monday attacked by hoodlums at Tonimas junction market in Osisioma, near Aba.
It was gathered that the taskforce had stormed the market located along the Enugu–Port Harcourt expressway, following refusal of the traders to obey directive on the lockdown.
Transition Committee Chairman, Osisioma Ngwa LGA, Dr. Ikechukwu Nwabeke, said the team had visited the market in company of the chairman, state taskforce on COVID -19, Dr. Solomon Ogunji, to sensitize the traders on the need to comply with government directive on the lockdown, but were confronted by hoodlums who started smashing windscreen of vehicles in the convoy of the taskforce.
“The Chairman state taskforce on COVID-19, Dr. Solomon Ogunji and his team visited Tonimas market to sensitise the traders on the need to comply with the government order to shut markets.
“When we got to the area, the chairman started his address; some hoodlums started singing, give us money, give us money. Others started smashing the windscreens and headlights of the vehicles we came with. We were not even on enforcement, but on sensitization. We had visited Afo Ule,Ahia Nkwo , Ekeakpara and other markets.”
He dismissed allegation by some traders that the taskforce destroyed their wares, and urged them to comply with the order to shut markets in their interest.
Also, residents of Warri and its environs in Delta have expressed displeasure over the activities of security operatives, especially policemen deployed on special duties to enforce compliance.
A resident DDPA popularly known as Bendel Estate, off Airport road, Kingsley Onyemachukwu, narrated his experience in the hands of policemen from Ugborikoko police station, who mounted a checkpoint at the Airport Junction.
“We were surprised when we got up as early as 6:30am only to see armed policemen and vigilantes blocking all entry point to our areas; even when we explained to them that we wanted to go and get drugs at a pharmacy they still wouldn’t oblige us.
Another resident of Effurun, Lucy Atare, a trader at the Effurun market, lamented the uncivilised way security agents were dealing with the civil populace and urged the authorities to do something about it before the situation degenerate into lawlessness.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC), Ondo State Command, said it has deployed 150 personnel to monitor all major markets and neighbouring border in line with the government’s directives on border closure in the state.
The commandant, Philip Ayuba, made the disclosure in a statemen explained that the officers were deployed in a joint operations with other security agencies to enforce the border closure in Ore, Ilaje, Ese-Odo, Ondo West, Supare, Owena- Igbara Oke, Akoko North East and Akoko South West Local Government of the state.