By Francis Efe, Warri
Following the announcement by the Delta State Governmental that there is going to be a total lockdown in the state starting from Wednesday as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, Deltans have lamented the high rate of foodstuff in the markets.
In a bid to ensure that they stock their houses with foodstuff, many Deltans who have stormed the markets to buy food were taken by surprise as the prices of goods have skyrocketed.
The prices of garri, one of the staple food in the state were increased with about three hundred per cent. Garri which used to sell for N500 was increased to N1500 and N1800 respectively.
At Effurun market in Uvwie local government area, the hike in prices of garri did not go down well with the youths in the area, who mobilized to the market to ensure that the price was brought down to N800.
Those who flaunt the order had their produce taken away from them and were sold to the public by the youths at the price of N800.
This development forced those who could not sell at the agreed price to lock their stores and go home for fear of the youths who were bent on enforcing the agreed prices.
Some of the market women who spoke to Vanguard said they bought the produce at high prices adding that they had no choice than to sell at a high rate.
One of the garri sellers who spoke under strict anonymity said, “We bought this garri at a very high price because those that sold to us told us that government is closing the borders on Wednesday. So we have no option than to sell at a very high price too because that is how we bought. But with what the youths are doing now we are selling at a loss.”
Some who supported the actions of the youths said it was wrong for the women to increase the prices of garri stressing that government has not increased prices of petroleum products so there was no need to increase the prices of foodstuff just because of lockdown.
Mrs Ofuoma Andrew who came to the market to buy foodstuff said, “We were all taken by surprise this morning when we came to the market. The prices of foodstuff just tripled. We don’t see any reason why they should increase things like this. It is not faring at all. Please government should do something about this if not we will die of hunger during the coming lockdown.”