As the Osun State Government set to lock down the state starting from Tuesday midnight over the continuous spread of the dreadful Coronavirus, scores of residents have called on the government to establish emergency markets.
Those who spoke with newsmen on Tuesday expressed concerns on the economic conditions of the people in the state, which according to them could make stocking of foodstuff for the 14-day lockdown practically difficult.
They, therefore, made case for ‘organized emergency markets’ with specific precautionary measures tailored towards protecting residents against the novel disease as well as mitigating its spread.
A resident of Dada Estate, in Osogbo metropolis, Mrs Motunrayo Abiodun opined that while the move to lock down the state was a welcome idea and the right step to stem the tide of the killer disease, the unfavourable economic condition of many in the state might make the enforcement a herculean task, if there is no alternative for residents.
She said like Lagos, Osun government should also make provision for emergency markets in some strategic places with necessary mechanism for crowd management and hygienic measures.
Abiodun stressed that such markets will serve the needs of those who do not have the resources to stock their homes with foodstuff and other needed commodities at once, noting that some residents rely on the gesture from relatives and friends to survive during the stay-at-home directive.
“To me, the directive to stay at home is a laudable one if we are really serious about curbing the pandemic. Unfortunately, the means to comply with that directive are scarce.
“Aside those in government employment, who are now enjoying regular salaries, majority of us rely on daily income, and do not have the money to stock our kitchens, hence the need for making alternative means of getting our daily needs,”, she said.
Also, an artisan, Mr Ibrahim Jegede appealed to the government in the state to create emergency markets at different neighbourhoods, in order to ease the pain the lockdown could cause for low-income earners.
He argued that the lockdown announced by the government would bring untoward hardship to many for the two weeks period, adding that government must look inward to see how to cushion the effect on the masses.
Jegede further implored government to provide some palliatives to poor residents through direct contact.
Speaking in the same vein, Dr Teniola Daramola, while urging residents to see the stay-at-home order as a sacrifice to ensure safety of the residents, however, insisted that certain palliatives should be provided by the government in consideration of the poor.
He said the initiative of the Lagos State government to create emergency markets was in cognizance of those who lack the necessary economic strengths to buy in bulk.
” Very few people could buy in bulk to cater for their families for the duration of the lockdown. Government should work with heads of markets to have emergency markets at different locations across the state with high level of hygienic measures and robust crowd management arrangement”.
Also speaking, a social commentator and political analyst, Mr Benedict Adebisi has advised government in the state to consider the low income earners in its policy consideration and measures taking to curb the spread of the COVID-19.
“Since the welfare and security of the people still remain the primary responsibility of the government, I expect Governor Gboyega Oyetola to sustain his political style of inclusive welfarism in the face of this menace of Coronavirus.
“There should be responsive alternative for artisans and peasants, who solely depend on daily income mad daily purchase to meet their needs.
“That is why I will suggest the establishment of emergency markets to help those who fall within this category”, Adebisi said.
Meanwhile, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Tuesday morning announced additional four cases of the COVID-19 in Osun and Ogun States.
The centre, in a tweet disclosed that three cases were confirmed in Osun as Ogun recorded a case.
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