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Ogidi, Ogbunike, Nkpor markets adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures

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THE leadership of various international markets sited along Enugu-Onitsha Express have really lived up to expectations by ensuring that both traders and customers who visit their markets for business transactions adhere to the WHO prescription on preventing the spread of coronavirus pandemic at public places.

The market leaders who also lauded Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State for timely relaxing the lockdown by opening the market so that people will not die of ‘hunger virus’ inlude Chief Jude Nwankwo of Building Materials International Market (BMIM); Chief Cyprain Okongwu of Plywood Market; Mr. Emma Anyaegbunam of Bicycle Market; Chief Benjamin Ezenekwe of Bakery Market; Okechukwu Atuenyi of New Tires Market and Chief Victor Elobi of Old Motor Spare Parts, Nkpor.

Speaking to newsmen at BMIM, Ogidi PG, Chief Nwankwo, after lauding Governor Obiano for coming to the rescue of traders by allowing opening of major markets said that BMIM COVID-19 taskforce team has been enforcing the preventive measures in the market.

“Every entrance to the market and every shop line have buckets for hand washing with soap and sanitisers. Everybody coming inside the market must put on face masks and be tested with infra red thermometers.Our shops were built with enough social distance and we don’t allow touting in this market. Our taskforce team that underwent training at Awka has been mandated to ensure that everyone complies.

“The governor is someone who is interested in the well-being of Ndi Anambra so anybody who refuses to adopt the preventive measures wants to commit succide and we will not allow such a person here. Even our customers from the north or west have been advised to resort to placing order for goods and to pay via bank because if we see them here, our taskforce will hand them over to NCDC for quarantine,”said Nwankwo.

At Plywood Market, Ogbunike, our reporters also observed that the market was over 90 per cent compliant to the standard stipulated preventive measures.The PG, ably represented by the 2nd VC, Maduabuchi Wilson Agu said that their market taskforce team was headed by the PG with some union executives, adding that the matter of enforcing the pandemic preventive measures was not a job to be left for boys.

The Plywood Market thanked the governor for the N10m Choose Your Project Initiative and pleaded with the state government to assist the market by constructing the road leading into the market from the Enugu-Onitsha Express, saying that vehicles hauling goods both into and out of the market used to tumble as a result of the very poor state of the road.

Moreover, Bicycle Spare Parts Multipurpose Cooperative Market, Azu Ogbunike was not an exception in complying with the preventive measures.

The PG, Mr. Emmanuel Anyaegbunam narrated the way their COVID-19 taskforce refused a police officer who was not wearing a face mask entry into the Bicycle Market despite his threats. He also urged everyone to be alert to personal safety and be prayerful.

“Akpokuodike rightly said that Anambra State cannot allow its economy to collapse because we have a strange visitor but he charged everyone to know that your safety is in your hands. We need him to assist us by tarring this road that links Bicycle Market to the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway”, said Anyaegbunam.

According to the PG of Amalgamated Bakery Material International market, Ogidi/Ogbunike, Chief Benjamin Ezenekwe, ably represented by the VP, Mr. Chukwudi Ezeife, ” we have three gates but we opened only two to enable our taskforce control and enforce the WHO,NCDC stipulated preventive measures in the market.

 “We are doing our best to ensure compliance and we have not met any resistance. Although, we prefer if government could supply us the kind of hand washing facility we saw at Dora Akunyili WDC which one can use one’s foot to control the tap to avoid contaminating one’s hand after washing”, said Ezeife.

 Meanwhile, at New Tires Market,Nkpor, the PG, Okechukwu Atuenyi, flanked by the VP, Chief Onyeka Ezeokoli, described the opening of the markets as a Christmas gift thanking Akpokuodike for providing security as an enabling environment for traders and customers even before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, at Old Motor Spare Parts, Nkpor, Chief Elobi, after assuring that their 30-member taskforce has been doing their job well said that they invited the police the first two days when few persons decided to be stubborn.

“Although we have provided enough water for hand washing but we need His Excellency to prevail on the Ministry of Utilities to help resurcitate our borehole as was promised during our meeting with the governor at Aguleri”, said Elobi.

However, some of the market leaders said they were still expecting the governor to extend palliative packages to the less privileged traders in the markets.

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