ONITSHA commercial city is almost in a stand still as markets, street shops are firmly closed in compliance with the directives of the state government for a continued sit-at-home lockdown.
The closure which mainly affected markets over the last two weeks has now extended to nearly all business areas including street shops, parks and malls with only few food vending and chemist shops seen open.
People are conspicuously scanty in major roads and streets with the few opened shops hardly finding patronages.
The transportation sector seems most affected as commercial buses are very scarce while the highways and major roads look so empty and devoid of any activities.
According to a commercial bus operator, Dennis Chukwu, who said he came out to buy food item and would head back to his house after his purchases, “the once vibrant city is now wearing the look of a ghost town. Everybody is indoor.
The compliance is high, so, I do not have any need of putting my vehicle on the road, since there may not be passengers to carry.”
Another respondent who spoke to National Light, a business operator and contractor, Chitoo Nnanna stated that it is going to be a tough two weeks given that people are running out of cash as well as food stock.
He blamed inefficiency of the security operatives stationed at the border areas of the state for not do a thorough job of keeping out new entrants into the state.
“Travelers continued to cross into Enugu State from the Amansea exit and vice versa without any form of test on Coronvirus status.
It is very disheartening that despite governments directive for everyone to sit-at-home, people continued to embark on travel. The Adazi, Anambra State born COVID-19 index case that travelled all the way from Lagos into the Anambra tells jow the governor’s directive is being enforced at borders.”
He emphasised with dismay that police could indulge in collecting money from motorists to the detriment of masses lives. Adding that the vehicle he boarded along Owerri road to get to Imo State only paid N2000 at a checkpoint within Ihiala and they were allowed to continue with their journey.
Contributing to the development, a driver plying Onitsha-Owerri route, David Iwunor corroborated the situation prevalent at the borders but expressed optimism that given the present circumstance in the state, security operatives will be more serious and not much tempted to compromise their duties.
He advised the state government to station health officers that would conduct tests on all passengers within the entrance points in the event of dissidents daring the law.
“There is no need taking risks, health officers should be stationed in those borders for tests on every person coming in or going out through the areas. This will help to check infiltration of infected persons into the state.”
It will be recalled that given the circumstances of index case discovery in the state, Governor Willie Obiano in effort to safeguard the state from slipping into flashpoint of this pandemic has announced the extension of sit-at-home order for the next two weeks.