Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
Outrageous increase of foodstuff prices across Delta state in the wake of sit at home order by the state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa on Monday triggered anger among residents, especially in Asaba and its environs have threatened to defile the order to stay alive.
Investigation revealed that abitrary increase in foodstuff prices by traders reasons have not been adduced, rather the traders attributed the situation to difficulties in transportation, especially products such as garri, yams, Plantains among others from the rural areas to the urban areas
For instance, in Boji Boji Owa, Asaba, Ughelli, Warri, Okpanam, Ibusa , Sapele and Ogwashi Uku Communities, prices of food items, such as garri and yam at present sell for N13,000 a basin including six tubers of yams selling for N10,000 non negotiable at the Popular Ogboeogonogo market in Asaba and its environs.
Traders who spoke to Journalists in Asaba, one of them, Clara Okoh,attributed the increase in food items to the panic buying, especially with the sit at home order likely to be long, adding that they were already running out of major items as governments failed to provide alternative means to living Particularly for those who eke out their living almost every day business and are not salary earners
They said that though traders selling food items were exempted from the sit at home order,but the assurance they noted had not been fully assimilated by the people, adding that the situation will come to portend hunger among the unemployed and Called on the state and federal governments to make Provision for everything, especially the Jobless and the unemployed
Further investigation revealed that though there were mad rush of some classes of people buying food items at Ogbeogonogo market, but the situation in the increase has continued to greet the residents in tears and inexplicable pains, Considering the poor economic development across the Country via the Coronavirus ravaging everywhere.
Some of them who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity described the increase in food items as barbaric and inhuman tortured, saying” we will defile sit out home order because we are hungry, we don’t have money at all, and we work in the field to eke out our living, we are are hungry and we want the Coronavirus to attack us then, we are tied of the situation, We will dare the Police who will stop us from doing our business”
But the Police Commissioner in the state, Hafiz Muhammed Inuwah who spoke to Journalists Confirmed that the Police were ready to Carry out the sit at home order, adding that any violators would be prosecuted according to the law and ensure that everyone obeys the order to the letters
Meanwhile, the need for social distancing remained a major problem as most traders and buyers were yet to fully imbibe the state government’s directives on it and the imperatives of regular washing of hands.
In another development, Commuters were stranded in Asaba on Monday, especially travellers from Benin to Asaba at the River Niger head Bridge in Asaba where security agents were seen with heavy arms to turn them back, while those who refused to go were seen around stranded in their vehicles, Particularly the commercial buses
At the border between Edo state and Delta, firece security agents Mar the entrance to Delta to turn back travellers to onitsha from Benin City apart from those drivers who Choose to drive through the bush path to come out at Uromi Junction towards Agbor to Asaba to avoid the security agents
Speaking to Journalists in Asaba, the Director General, Delta state Orientation Bureau, Barr Eugene Uzum said that the sit at home directive and closure of all entry points into the state by the state government were meant to save lives and not punitive measures against residents in the state.
Barr Uzum explained that the state government placed very high premium on safety and lives of residents, adding that necessary precautionary measures had been put in place to prevent the entry of the virus into the state