Security agents enforce directives on market closure
From Jimoh Ahmed, Ikare Akoko.
Security agents on Tuesday stormed most markets in Ondo North Senatorial District to enforce the total closure of all markets in the state as directed by the state government.
Despite the announcement by government that all markets in the state, including the food markets be shut, traders showed up at most of the markets in the morning, but were forced out by men of the Nigerian Army and other security agents who prevented them from carrying out normal business activities.
At the Saint Francis Mega Primary School, Owo, food sellers came out to display their products but were later dispersed by security men who stormed the market to ensure the total closure order.
It was the same story in Ikare, Akungba and some other towns in the district.
Meanwhile, many market women have continued to lament the situation as they are already painting what will befall them in the continued closure of the markets.
According to them, it is going to be a harvest of sufferings as most of their items like tomatoes, pepper, apples, were bought on credit and they are also perishable within few days if not sold on time consequently bringing about loss and huge debt.
Similarly, they posited that aside the financial loss, people will be at the mercy of hunger.
Alhaja Aduloju Osenat, a yam seller at the Oja Oba Market in Ikare Akoko, disclosed that the closure of markets will bring her a huge debt since she took loan from LAPO Micro Finance Bank for her trade.
Adoluju said since yam is liable to rot over a long period of time, she is going to lose a substantial amount of money.
In the same vein, Mallam Hassan Sokoto, an onion seller, stated that his trade is going to be badly affected by the closure.
Hassan however, said that since government is doing this for the safety of the people, it has to be obeyed.
He however called on government to give palliatives, both food and cash, to the people to cushion the effect of the stay-at-home and closure of markets.
Meanwhile, prices of foodstuffs have shot up as traders now sell in the black market to buyers.
For instance, a measure of local rice which formerly sells for N600 and N700 naira, now goes for N800 to N950 naira, five medium tubers of yam now sells for N1500, as against its former price of N800, while the big size now sells for N2500 instead of its former price of N1600.
The hike, The Hope learnt was due to panic buying by consumers due to stay- at-home directives.