COVID-19: Jubilation as Obiano orders reopening of foodstuff markets in Anambra

Foodstuff sellers in Anambra have expressed delight and gratitude to Gov. Willie Obiano for reopening food item markets earlier relocated to some designated fields in communities across the state.

The governor had given the directive as part of the governments initiative at stemming spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our correspondent recalls that Obiano had few days ago established and designated some fields for sellers of food items in all the communities of the state to carry out their businesses.

The move was part of measures at enhancing social distancing and hygiene as the state faced lock down period following the outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

However, the governor on Tuesday, directed reopening of all food items markets while noting that the introduction of field/stadium makeshift markets aided congestion and defeated the primary aim of social distancing.

Obiano also directed that the foodstuff markets be opened from 8:00a.m. to 3:00p.m. daily until further directive was issued.

Reacting to the development, Mrs Nkiruka Nwakaego, a foodstuff trader at the popular Ose Market in Onitsha while expressing her happiness, said the earlier decision had affected her business negatively.

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“I am so excited to hear that we have been asked to return to the markets because the two days we spent in the field market  was challenging.

“It was a good decision to have asked the traders to return to the markets because most of us depend on this daily sales for a living.

“We didn’t know what to do as the hunger was already telling on us. We really appreciate the government,” Nwakaego said.

Another trader, Mrs Theresa Nwankwo, said the fields were not spacious enough to accommodate both traders and goods.

“Even our customers would have found it difficult to locate us, but we thank His Excellency for bringing us back to our various shops where we have enough space.

“At least we can attend to our customers, observe the social distancing as they arrive,” Nwankwo, a former local government councilor, said.

Also speaking, Mrs Stella Umejiofor, while commending the governor for his decision, noted that the field market was not comfortable for the traders.

Umejiofor prayed that the COVID-19 pandemic would end sooner, so that other traders in the Main Market and other major markets could open up their shops for business.

A customer, Miss Anabel Chukwu, said “I think it is a good idea opening up at 8a.m. and closing at 3p.m. daily.

“With that, people can come out to buy what they want to buy. The people that sell the foodstuff, most of them feed from hand to mouth, everything should not be strict and rigid,” she noted.

Chukwu however, urged all to adhere strictly to the precautionary measures stipulated by government to contain the spread of COVID-19.

NAN further reports that the new directive prohibited the display or sale of commodities other than food items in all the market in the state during the period.


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