The popular Eke Awka Market was yesterday shut down to business in line with the directive of the Anambra State Government. In a statement last week, the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, had announced that the market would be shut down on Monday due to the failure of traders to comply with Covid-19 protocols.
When Radio Nigeria visited, all the entry and exit points to the market are under lock in compliance with the directive by the state government, which was a response to the failure of traders to obey the conditions given by the state government for reopening the markets in May this year.
The usual traffic gridlock around the market, usually caused by street traders was nonexistent. Commenting on the development, one of the stakeholders in the market, Mr. Charles Anierobi, said the shutdown was in the best interest of the marketers.
He however appealed to the State Government to temper justice with mercy especially in the interest of those who deal on perishables as the market leadership had constituted a task force to enforce the directives of the state government in the market. The chairman of the Task Force, Mr. Charles Obuekwe, promised to ensure that the Covid-19 protocols and guidelines are adhered to by all the traders within the market, when it reopens.
Two of the traders, Mr. Emeka Anadozie and Yerima Musa, noted that the shutdown is an indication that the governor cares for the people and their health. A customer, Mrs. Obiageli Ekeh, who was unaware of the shutdown directive lamented her inability to access the market to purchase the needed items. Others, who spoke with Radio Nigeria, commended the Government for closing the market over non-compliance with COVID-19 protocols, but called for its reopening now that the leadership of the market is poised to ensure total compliance.