The enforcement of closure of weekly markets in Osun State, in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease, took a new dimension on Thursday when security agents forcefully dispersed traders in the popular Owode Ede market.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that there was commotion around 10.15 am when a combined team of anti-riot policemen and officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) stormed the market situated along Gbongan-Ibadan expressway to chase the traders away.
Osun State government, had on Tuesday announced the indefinite closure of weekly markets in the state during a meeting with market leaders, as part of efforts to checkmate the spread of coronavirus.
But, the persuasion of the traders by the chairman of Ede North Local Council Development Area, Hon Mukaila Uthman to vacate Owode Ede market before the intervention of security agents yielded no result, a development which compelled the Divisional Police Officer for Ede Division, CSP Akin Akanni to lead other security agents to chase the traders away.
Speaking during a chat with journalists, Uthman contended that the government’s decision to shut down weekly markets across the state was part of the preemptive measures to protect Osun citizenry against coronavirus.
According to him, “I want to thank the governor for the proactive measures put in place to contain the novel coronavirus. Here in Owode market, we held a meeting with Babaloja and Iyaloja, based on the instruction given by the governor to comply with social distancing order, but our people don’t want to listen.
“Government have tried its best, and we are still on it. Our people are still not getting it right. We dispersed them with the help of security personnel. The safety of our people is our priority, and we have to continue until they obey us.”
When we met with them and some said they would not be able to survive, we explained to them that is not that we are closing the market outrightly, but we are suspending any gathering of people for now. We have been sensitising them continuously on coronavirus and how deadly it is, what we are doing now is enforcement”, Uthman remarked.
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