AUTHORITIES of Onitsha Main Market and Marine Modern Market have warned customers and non customers alike to stop coming into the market without wearing their face masks or be prepared to pay penalty for such negligence.
According to them, traders would not want anybody to contact the dreaded coronavirus pandemic disease, neither would they want the state government to close down the markets for a second time as a result of the refusal to obey the COVID-19 laid down rules.
Chairman of Onitsha Main Market, Kenneth Onyeka and Chairman of Marine Modern Market, Uzomili Onyeabo, who sounded this note of warning while speaking to newsmen on their preparedness to ensure strict compliance with the COVID-19 preventive measures, said they have set up special task forces to enforce compliance.
According to Onyeabo, “here at Marine Modern Market, our traders are law-abiding. Before this market was re-opened by the state government, we assured government that we will comply with all the directives so that government will not close our market again and nobody will contact the dreaded coronavirus”.
“Although there are some stubborn individuals, our task force headed by my vice chairman, Elochukwu Ezeanya is doing everything humanly possible to ensure that we did not attract the wrath of the state government or for anybody to be infected by the virus”.
“We are appealing to the government to extend their palliatives to our market here because there are those who are poorer than others. We are also appealing to the state government to save us from someone who is laying claim to the ownership of the land where this market is located”.
“As far as we are concerned, we are tenants to the state government and I don’t think it is possible for us to also be tenants to someone else other than the state government whom we are paying our revenues to”.
“I suggest that if possible, government should acquire COVID-19 test kits and bring it down to the market so that every trader here will be tested and their COVID-19 status ascertained.
For Onyeka, COVID-19 is real and those who are saying it is a scam are not educated. I inaugurated up to 251-man task force before the market was re-opened. Anyone without face mask will never enter the market premises”.
“A wife of a police officer was arrested inside the market for not wearing a face mask and when we contacted her husband on phone, he told us to detain her until she gets a face mask and we forced her to buy a face mask before we allowed her to go”.
“Here in this main market, we need to have a standard functional fire fighting equipment. and I commend the state government for reticulating our water bore-hole and making it functional once more.”.
“Our former leader, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, who is now a member of the National Assembly representing Orumba North/South Federal Constituency inspired us when he was with us as the President-General of Anambra Markets Amalgamated Trades Association (AMATAS)”.
“We have been communicating with him from time to time and he usually gives us assistance. We will still support him in his future political ambition because he was a very good leader and so dear to us then and even up till date”.