Gov Obiano Reopens Nnewi Spare Parts Market After Traders ‘Pledged To Comply Religiously’ With Covid-19 Protocols

Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, Wednesday, directed the state ministry of trade and commerce to reopen Agbedo Spare Parts Market, Nnewi, with immediate effect.

THE WHISTLER reports that the market was shut Monday, February 7, following the failure of traders and customers of the market to observe Covid-19 protocols. According to the state commissioner for information, Mr C. Don Adinuba, the market was shut because: “Neither the traders nor customers were wearing face coverings. They did not observe social or physical distancing. They did not provide buckets of water, soaps or sanitizers in the market to enable people to wash their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds on each occasion.

“As a result of the behaviour of the traders in this market and their customers, as well as the nonchalant attitude of officials of the market union, there has been a huge spike in the number of COVID-19 infections in Nnewi since this year. Of course, the state government foresaw since late last year a considerable increase in the number of infections in the state because millions of our people were coming from different parts of the country and beyond, including places with high incidences of infections and fatalities, to celebrate the Christmas and New Year with their families and friends. Consequently, the government took several proactive measures to shield ndi Anambra as much as possible from the ravages of the virus, especially the new variants from South Africa, Brazil and the United Kingdom which are more infectious and more deadly.”

The decision to reopen the market, according Mr Adinuba, followed pleas from relevant stakeholders and the pledge of the traders to comply with all the prevent protocols of the pandemic.

According to him, “Since the state ministry of trade and commerce closed down Agbedo Spare Parts Market, a lot of stakeholders, including the leadership of the market unions in the state, have approached the authorities to tamper justice with mercy. They have pledged to comply religiously with the protocols to check the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. They have pledged to not only provide the facilities and materials needed in the market, but also take the necessary disciplinary action against any person or group of persons that violates the rules. They have, in addition, pledged to help the state government bring the culprits to justice by sending them for trial at the mobile courts.”

He warned that the state government would not hesitate to shut down the market or any other market ‘which contravenes the protocols to check COVID-19’.