The Akwa Ibom State Chairman of COVID-19 Management Committee, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, yesterday said that the government will shut down indefinitely, markets that fail to comply with its safety directives, aimed at preventing community spread of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Ekuwem, who is also the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), gave the warning during a meeting with all the Market Presidents, which took place at the Obong Akpan Isemin Hall, Government House, Uyo, the state capital. While addressing the market leaders from the 31 Local Government Areas of the state, Ekuwem expressed disappointment with the poor level of compliance in the markets, even as he stressed the need to adhere strictly with all the COVID-19 preventive measures. He, however, said that from today, June 26, erring markets would be shut without further warnings. Also, in his remarks, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Charles Udoh, implored all market committees to provide hand washing facilities at strategic locations in their respective markets or face indefinite closure. This was as he noted that community spread of the virus could occur during bargaining, and charged all market leaders to liaise with their respective Local Government Council Chairman from tomorrow to enforce “no face mask, no entry into the market policy.” On his part, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Trade and Market Matters, Akparawa Idorenyin Raphael, while describing Governor Udom Emmanuel as the most traders-friendly governor in the country, commended him for always placing priority on matters concerning the well-being of traders in the state.