ENFORCEMENT of COVID 19 directives particularly on wearing of face mask is gradually assuming a dangerous dimension in some areas such as Onitsha and Ogidi axis.
Several groups masquerading in various uniforms appear to have cashed in on the mandatory order of wearing the face mask to harass, intimidate and sometimes, damage and extort various sums of monies from commercial bus drivers plying the Enugu-Onitsha road via the old road.
At other times, particularly between the hours of 6pm and 7pm, some of these groups are said to snatch bags, phones and other valuables from passersby.
What could have been a multiple road crash at Ugwu Nwasike, in Ogidi, Idemili North local government was averted by whiskers as a band of youths ostensibly enforcing the use of face masks and limitation in the number of passengers in buses, chased buses and the confusion that resulted nearly caused multiple car crash.
National Light reporter in one of the buses enroute Onitsha in the morning hours of Tuesday, reports that buses were scratching each other as the drivers tried to maneuver the way to avoid been apprehended by the enforcers.
A terrified passenger in the bus who volunteered comment on condition of anonymity condemned the method of enforcement by some of these groups, adding that any loss of human life cannot equate any measure to prevent the COVID- 19 spread.
She however blamed the drivers for not adhering to the directives.
“The funny aspect of the face mask directive is that people wear their mask on their jaws in pretence to wearing the mask but this is not the rule, and these enforcers don’t look at that.
Two bus drivers who spoke to our reporter claimed that the number they were requested to carry cannot make up for their daily account to the bus owners, added to what the unions, local government fees and police collect from them on the road.
”If we carry the number we were told to carry, the passengers pay for it, that is why Awka to Onitsha is now between #300 and #400 depending on the driver, yet this is not enough for our account to the owners of the buses.”