Say they are dying in hunger

Threaten to defy lock down order
Say there’s a limit to human endurance
Palliatives distribution marred by inefficiency, corruption

 Lockdown in Nigeria to stem spread of coronavirus

Residents across the states in the country have expressed frustrations and anger following the sit-at-
home order by the governments in order to contain the coronavirus pandemic. At the banks, motor parks, markets, among other places, many people were seen complaining about the agonizing situation they were passing through. They complained of boredom, they were tired of being forced to stay at home without electricity. They expressed fear that many people would die of hunger as they no longer had food to eat. They have therefore threatened to defy the lock down order saying there was a limit to human endurance.
Excerpts:

ANAMBRA
By Vincent Ujumadu

Although every business outlet, including private shops, were closed when Governor Willie Obiano gave the order for them to close for two weeks, many of them reopened barely after two days as they complained that they were finding it difficult to stay at home without money and food.

Mrs. Christiana Onah, who sells fruits at the Government House market, Awka said she has not been able to travel to Benue State to buy bananas and yam because of the border closure. She said that her husband, who was a labourer, had not been going to work because the site where he was working, was closed down. “We have five children and it is difficult for us to feed because no income comes to us any longer, Onah said.

Mr Christian Okeke, who was spotted in one of the first generation banks, said it was even difficult for him to withdraw money because of the long queue. According to him, the little savings he made had virtually finished because all members of his family were at home, with the attendant pressure on the available food in the house. A commercial bus driver, Mr. Augustine Ikedigwe, who operates on the Awka -Onitsha route said transport business had ground to a halt. “There are no inter city passengers since every business is grounded and people were asked to stay at home. I come out everyday, thinking there could be passengers, but there are no travelers any longer,” he said.

ONDO
Dayo Johnson, Akure.

Barrister Banjo Ayenakin: ”The lockdown; admittedly is essential and necessary for our existence and well being in the face of this pandemic. However, it has serious economic implications on homes and people; especially those who earn their living on daily basis. Many people are hungry and can’t eke out their livelihoods; they have resorted to begging and other undignified means of survival. The homeless are not left out; it is ravaging them badly. Domestic violence like wife battery; assault, and verbal abuses to mention just a few are on the increase. The lockdown has also resulted in the violation of the fundamental rights of many essential workers like doctors and nurses who have suffered untold hardships in the hands of unscrupulous security agents. No doubt, the most severe complications from the lockdown will be felt after the pandemic is over because it will have negative multiplier effect on peoples’ livelihood, health, businesses and general well being.

Zadok Akintoye- Analyst: It has been quite challenging to many homes particularly those families surviving on daily income since the lockdown started. I am aware of several families that currently have a challenge making ends meet. As a business owner, I am bothered about how salaries of staff working with me will be paid now that the business has been shutdown. On the home front, the children are more demanding and the psychological pressure on parents is quite high as you now have to take care of several aspects of living all at the same time.

OSUN
By Shina Abubakar, Osogbo

Yusuf Adeyemi, Businessman: I wonder the essence of the lockdown in the state without considering the plight of the masses who lived on daily income. The government ought to have allowed traders to open shops and sell food items to individuals willing to buy rather lock down the entire state. It is difficult for government to explain the essence of this lockdown without creating time for people to go out to buy essential things. Even if it has to introduce neighborhood market.

OGUN
James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta

Comrade Arabambi Abayomi, Labour Party Chairman, Ogun state: ”To say the least, the lockdown as a result of the ravaging COVID19 pandemic is not convenient for any individual, group or community. However, it is a sacrifice we all have to make now to stop the transmission of the new virus in our society. The most hit by the lockdown order are the poor and the vulnerable. Majority of our population in Nigeria are on daily incomes. They go out in the morning, looking for whatever take home will be available to feed themselves and families, however little. This means if they don’t go out in a day, there will be nothing to feed on. The stimulus offered by the government, especially of Lagos and Ogun are grossly inadequate. Even their distributions have been marred with such inefficiency and corruption that the poor and vulnerable, who were supposed to be the targets of the government relief packages were not reached . Most of them were embittered and were poised to defy the lockdown order and start going out for their daily bread. The government needs to realise that when poverty closes the door against the people, hunger will open it. The government must be proactive in this respect if the lockdown is to yield the desired results.

Victor Fasanya, Legal Practitioner: ”The lockdown has entered day five in Abeokuta and people are becoming inpatient especially for those artisans such as taxi drivers, vulcanizers, Carpenters, bricklayers who feed from their wages. Our fear is that many people will die of hunger rather than the Corona Virus. On the government stimulus, my take is that the Ogun state government has insulted our personality and integrity . My CDA at Obada got two packs of the stimulus for over 80 houses. In fact, it was delivered through Ewekoro Local Government. The federal government too claimed to have spent billions of Naira as stimulus, but to whom? They are only playing game with us. I am highly disappointed. When the government is ready, the best way is to credit each BVN account with nothing less than 50K to cushion the effect of the COVID-19. We know the importance of staying at home and to be safe but there is limit to human endurance.

Adigun Peter Kayode, Teacher”

The lockdown is another challenge that I never envisaged could come my way this year but which like many Nigerians, I have had to grudgingly swallow like a very bitter malaria pill. My major problem with the lockdown is this movement restriction. It has brought many things to standstill, and promoted boredom making life so difficult sometimes. I cope by remaining positive believing that in the next few days, this lockdown which is really needed to flatten the curve of this deadly Coronavirus disease would be lifted and life will gradually return to normal. As difficult as things seem to be right now, I consider it as a painful sacrifice to halt the spread of the virus as Nigeria with our poor health system cannot handle the surge of cases of people having this virus.

EKITI

By Rotimi Ojomoyela, Ado Ekiti.

Mr Taiwo Adedipe, a civil Servant, said “the state economy is based primarily on informal sector to thrive and any attempt to stifle it will make the state bankrupt. This restriction is already affecting everyone, people depend on daily income to survive. Only a few percentage of the state population are employed by government and few businesses, while the rest of the population are into informal sector and largely depend on daily income. Palliatives were only made available for the elderly, less privileged and the poor, how do you categorize those who depend on daily income, are they not in need of the palliative too”.

Mrs Biodun Odebiyi, a trader told Vanguard that, the restriction was affecting her business. According to her, “those of us into beverages are feeling the brunt, we were asked to open for business but people were restricted from reaching us. My capital and the little profit have disappeared, because of the sit at home order, we open shop but no patronage and the two days we opened for few hours, the little I made are gone on feeding”.

NIGER
By Wole Mosadomi-

In Niger state, the people transferred their anger and aggression first by breaking the stay-at-home order. The Law Enforcement Agencies were overwhelmed by the flagrant disobedience of the populace to the curfew and were handicapped to enforce the law on the frustrated and downcast people.
They were helpless and ended up not arresting anybody.

A female resident in Minna, Hajiya Talatu Ahmed in an interview however faulted government order saying, “this state is purely Civil Service State and when everybody stays at home without prior notification, it makes the situation worst. I am a trader and if I don’t go to the market daily, there is no way I can survive with my children. Whether civil servants go to the office or not, they will collect their salaries but like me, no market, no food and no survival, and the same affect my co traders,”she declared.

A Civil Servant who preferred anonymity commended the government for the steps taken but faulted its attitude to their welfare. :The lockdown is in our own interest in order not to contact the Virus because from the look of things, it has no cure. We however expected that government would have provided palliatives to the people to force them to remain at home because locking down people in order to fight any type of disease without food is like inviting other diseases and death,” he declared.

Niger Delta residents groan as lockdown takes toll

By Samuel Oyadongha, Jimitota Onoyume, Festus Ahon, Egufe Yafugborhi, Ike Uchechukwu, Emma Una, Harris Emanuel, Chioma Onuegbu, Davies Iheamnachor Ochuko Akuopha & Paul Olayemi

The closure of markets and boundaries by states in the Niger Delta region as part of measures to contain the spread of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic has taken its tolls on the citizens with many expressing fear of looming famine in the land. While some residents asserted that hunger might kill a lot of persons even before COVID-19 reaches their state, others alleged that government was not sincere in its release of palliatives to the poor.

DELTA

In Delta State, some residents who spoke to Saturday Vanguard lamented that the attitude of traders and buyers at the makeshift markets created by the various local governments defied the social distancing order.
“When you go to the markets you just wonder if there is anything like social distancing. The traders and buyers don’t observe it. It is only God that can save the country from this virus,” a resident in Jakpa road area of Uvwie local government area, Mr. Charles said. “There is hunger but most of us are managing to comply. We did not prepare for this lockdown. We have no choice than to comply with the state government”, Rosemary, a resident in Ugbuwangwe, Warri south local government area said.
According to Richard Benin, an indigene of Ozoro community, Isoko North Local Government Area, “The world today has been caught up in critical and uncertain times. The COVID-19 global emergency has necessitated the total lockdown of nations around the world and Delta State is not an exception. This emergency situation has shown to us the level of readiness of governments at all levels. Thus, the freedom of the people is the price.

“The lockdown and stay at home order in the state have brought more pain and anguish than can be imagined to the people, because proper palliatives were not put in place to cushion the attendant hardship such directives will bring to the people. A widow, whom I know very well with five children, sells fabrics at the market for a living. Now, the markets have been shutdown and what she sells is not listed as essential commodity. The banks only operate on skeletal capacity, there’s no means for her to even get to the bank, her resources are fast depleting and of course, frustration begins to set in and depression is certain. Secondly, the man who earn a living by riding a motorbike to take care of himself and his family has to pay the prize for us to be safe by staying at home for 14 days, his daily earnings have been cut short. He stays at home, manages and watches as the little he has left gets finished, indeed, frustration sets in and he vents it on his wife and children, thus another domestic violence is recorded. Frustration is written on the faces of almost everyone. You sure know that, there’s a relatively thin line between sanity and insanity and there is a limit to which the human mind can take. This global emergency has come to show us our weaknesses and we have learnt our lessons, I suppose. Going forward, I believe, governments at all levels will have to give priorities to important issues and conduct proper community needs assessments for the people.”
Fred Nohwo, Nohwo Executive Director, African Centre for Environmental and Rural Development (ACERD) said: “Residents of Warri metropolis are not finding the lockdown easy as people are groaning under its weight. Made up of a population of people whose means of survival is mostly of daily earning, the continued stay at home order is becoming a harrowing experience for the people.

READ ALSO:Covid-19: Cross River NMA launches online healthcare connect service

“To make ends meet, people have resorted to walking great distance to get to their place of business in order to earn a living. This also applies to Keke riders who appear to have struck a deal with security agents manning critical routes in the city. The riders who charge twice the fare on a normal route pays the check points an average of N100 per passage. Peril stares many in the face as food dries out in many households and the lack of money reigns.”

Mirabel Anigeji, a cake designer said: “some residents defied the lockdown order to attend to their various businesses as a result of government failure to provide palliatives to cushion the harsh effects of the lockdown because most of the residents depend on their daily hustle for survival. The prices of food items have risen astronomically and there is anguish everywhere. Those that are not into essential commodities are worse hit as they have to watch their little savings deplete on a daily basis.

According to Mr. Emumena Michael, an activist, “Obviously, we are not prepared for a tough time such as this. We want to return to our daily activities because hunger, boredom and depression have set in. The prices of commodities have skyrocketed, yet there is no fund available to purchase them. The fact that the security operatives are taking advantage of the situation to molest Deltans has even made matters worse in the state. People are now afraid to come out to purchase important essentials like foodstuffs. From what I am seeing, hunger is going to cause a greater havoc than the coronavirus pandemic. A hungry man is an angry man.”

CROSS RIVER

In Cross River, Mr. Pascal Bajie, a hair stylist said he could no longer feed his family due to the downturn in business. “I can barely feed, people are no longer coming out to have their hair cut because they are afraid of COVID19. Before now, I used to attend to 15 to 25 persons daily but the number has reduced drastically. The lockdown is affecting me. Customers are afraid of getting infected so they no longer come; even those who keep their clippers with us have collected them. My anger is the news of money being given to some people who I believe are ghosts because I know I don’t have any other source of income for now. How do I survive? The so called palliatives should get to those that really need it, they have our data.

Another resident, Mr Ikechukwu Anosike who sells food stuff and other household items said: “We learned that they are giving palliatives, who do you know that has received let them show us. They should allow things like fish and crayfish to enter the state. A lot of families are suffering; all the things they claimed they have given out are all propaganda as far as Cross River is concerned. A bag of pure water is now N200. Prices of items have gone up over 100 %. It is really sad that government is not being transparent, they should publish donations from people and organisations and what they have shared and to whom, we need to know because a lot of people have become billionaires overnight because of COVID-19. I can also tell you for free that hunger will kill more people even before COVID-19 will get here. A lot of families I know now drink garri and salt, and mostly with tap water because they can no longer afford sachet water anymore,” he lamented.

AKWA IBOM

In Akwa Ibom, residents complained of being abandoned by the government describing the situation as ‘hunger virus”. They said the level of hunger in the land might be even more deadly than the global epidemic that they are running away from.

A public servant, Mr. Inemesit John lamented that, “every evening, around 4pm my wife and I will go for a stroll for about two hours because it is boring sitting inside the house from day to day. Am not used to this lifestyle and I pray it will soon be over. And even with the children at home it has not been easy, you must give them whatever they ask for. Because they are seeing you at home, they will always make one demand or another, they don’t understand what is happening. So the situation is worrying”

A businessman, who simply identified himself as Mr. Lucky lamented lack of electricity in his Itu Road area, stressing, “I appeal to both Federal and state governments to help us by ensuring that there is steady power supply. It is frustrating staying indoors; there is no electricity to keep you busy. Some of us buy petrol for our generators and how long can we survive that since we are not going out to work or sell and get money.”
Mrs Grace Uwem, a food vendor lamented low patronage most of her customers are observing the stay-at-home order. “Things have not been busy for me. Because of this lockdown nobody is buying food again. And the price of food items like fish, rice has gone so high. I am the breadwinner of my family, and my family depends on this business for survival.

BAYELSA

In Bayelsa: the state is one of the few states in the federation that have not recorded any case of coronavirus. A resident, Mr. Ebiowei Lawal said: “Coping with the lockdown has been difficult because I have never had reason to stay at home almost all day for a very long time. The lockdown has exposed me to a bad and uncontrollable eating habit, much to the extent that I fear that I may suffer from obesity. And most of all it is making me become lazy and idle. The fact that you can’t go anywhere whenever you get tired of staying at home is frustrating because recreational centres and hangouts are closed. You can’t even visit friends because everybody is afraid of contracting the virus.

“However, my anger is the fact that in the face of this lockdown, electricity distribution companies have refused to give us power so we could watch TV or play game to keep ourselves busy as a family while we are locked down at home. Also the government has not given citizens the needed support in terms of subsidizing prices of goods or even providing free food for the masses. My greatest challenge is the fact that I don’t have the opportunity to do my extra business that gives me extra money aside my little salary. The fear that you might run out of cash because you are only spending and not getting money, is frustrating enough to give one a heart attack.

Another resident, Willie Bassey said: “The lockdown and stay-at-home order in Bayelsa is affecting virtually all facets of economy; it has deprived me personally of my freedom of movement and render us helpless. Certainly, the situation is boring, nothing to enjoy about the lockdown, my daily hustling and business is in jeopardy, the social lives of the city trampled upon. It has increased our daily expenditures without working to earn income, everybody is just staying lazy at home, and my prayer is that God should end this coronavirus very soon, so that people can go about their normal businesses freely. Due to this lockdown, we are faced with series of challenges, most especially the economy challenge, shops are closed, markets have been closed and prices of everything go up, where do we even get money to meet up with this drastic increment in prices of things.

RIVERS

For Rivers residents, coping with the stay-at-home orders and related government restrictions have been a mix of pains for many and gains for quite a few creative minds. Esther Akpan, a seamstress in Port Harcourt stated that customers were no more willing to patronize her because of the order which has shut many businesses. Akpan said, “The stay at home order is seriously affecting us in Port Harcourt. No food, no money and they want us to stay at home, stay at home doing what? Before I have regular customers who either were bringing new fabrics or were coming to collect clothes we already made for them, but now I stay here till night and nobody is ready to come.

For Moji Willa-Wanga, owner of another fashion house, Willa Wanga Fashion, it has been a case of one road closing and opening another. She said, “Since people no longer needed clothes as there were no more weddings, church service, burials and other big occasions, we had to direct our attention to nose mask making since the demand for same became very high and supply low.

Mr. Ebi Evinson, a civil servant in Yenagoa said: “The major challenge arising from the lockdown is the issue of allowing foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals into the state. Enforcement agencies in conjunction with health officials, should conduct the relevant preliminary tests at the entry points and allow persons and vehicles carrying these essential items to come into the State”.

Rev Father Joseph Opelema, vice chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Bayelsa said: “The life of of the priest is different. He’s alone most of the time. He stays with people when he’s ministering to them, attending meetings, attending functions or socializing with people. The lockdown is close to our way of life. Looking out at the wider society the lockdown orchestrated by the coronavirus is scary and apprehensive. We are not used to that way of life. The situation is not normal. One can feel it in the air. The lockdown is causing a lot of discomfort but we have to bear it because the consequences of failure to observe the lockdown could be disastrous. The challenges are many. First people are not coming to church as usual. There is the feeling of uncertainty. Prices of goods are soaring high. Restriction of movement, cancelling or postponing of church programmes, feeling of stagnation, fear of contacting the disease. Isolation from loved ones as well as mutual suspicion. I’m praying earnestly for God’s intervention in the eradication of COVID19.”

PLATEAU

By Marie-Therese Nanlong.

Jos – Residents of Plateau State received the directive for a total lockdown in the State with mixed feelings, while some commended the step saying it will help contain COVID-19, others saw it as punishment and “Satanic move to stop the celebration of Easter.”

Samuel Nuhu said, “this lockdown is not necessary. The economy of the state is bad and greater percentage of the people survive on day to day activities. To lock down this type of economy without palliative measures is very unfair.”

Umar Ibrahim added, “In my view, rich people are angry that they are mostly the victims. We only heard that federal government helped people but where? The State government did not even do anything but to love people in their houses. Won’t hunger kill people before the sickness?”

Also, Joy Danielson stated, “Fumigation is good, with or without COVID-19 but it shouldn’t take this punitive level. One we have no money and secondly this is Easter, we won’t go to Church, this is Satanic but I rejoice because Church is not the building, as long as we are alive, we will celebrate Easter. This kind of situation should attract government’s sympathy to cater for those who don’t have.”

To Richard Nanpit, “Just last week, Langtang North local government area fumigated the area without total lockdown, why is this one different to the extent that a mobile court is set to try defaulters? They say stay home and keep clean but we don’t even have water to wash our hands so how do I keep clean? Too much hunger can breed crime, government should be very careful in this their lockdown thing.”

Again, Daniel Itse maintained, “The only bad thing is the time, this order coming at the Easter time but God knows everything, things are not working for people but we need this endurance. It is the price we need to pay to stay safe. The light and water should be provided to ease the boredom. We can even use the time to clean if we have water and drive hunger by watching some programmes.”

TARABA

By Femi Bolaji , Jalingo –

For residents of Taraba state, the total lockdown earlier imposed by the state government to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 was one they grappled with. According to a staff of a new generation who preferred anonymity, going to work while her financial institution was opened was quite difficult. She said “I take Keke from my house to the office but on the first day of the total lockdown, I could not go to work because there was no means of transportation.

A tricycle operator in Jalingo metropolis who gave his name as Salihu noted that fending for his family during the lockdown was quite difficult. He said “most Keke drivers survive with what we realize everyday. The lockdown was like a set back for us. Though the government gave everyone the grace till last week Friday to stock up, but getting money to buy little things while sitting at home was a problem. The little we get everyday during the lockdown was not forthcoming and what we have at home was gradually finishing.

ADAMAWA

By Umar Yusuf, Yola

The Igbo community in the state felt they were most affected by the lock down. Mr Ike Okechukwu said “We are in serious difficulties, except some measures are taken urgently to salvage our situation,”
Another Ignore businessman, Mr Ben Nwordi, an electonjcs dealer spoke in the same vein. Nwordi alleged that the Ndigbo have been the targets of security operatives as some of them who attempted to make ends meet from the lock down were arrested and charged heavily to bail themselves

BENUE

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

Mr. Vincent Nyinongu: Ordinarily, sitting at home is not something that human beings will want to observe but we have been compelled to do it. Markets are closed and people cannot access the markets anymore to make purchases. Even some of us whose business has to do with interacting with people are not finding it easy at all and it is not funny. Life has been so difficult with the lockdown and the most painful is that the much talked about palliatives have not been extended to us. No money, no food, nothing

Mr. Jacob Ayati: If there is no lockdown and the spread of the novel Coronavirus gets to the state of community transmission there is no way it can be controlled. Also, we must all know that we lack the facilities to check the spread if it gets to the community level. Even advanced countries like Spain, Italy and the USA are helpless in containing the virus how much more Nigeria. So, the best thing to do is to take a look at the Wuham experience. The moment they had the outbreak, they imposed a lockdown and they were moving from house to house testing people. So, even in Nigeria if the government imposes a lockdown and the people are not being tested it is complete nonsense. You cannot just keep people in their homes, hungry and you are not making any effort to test the people you have locked down to determine their status. So, I believe that before the government announced the lockdown they ought to have got enough testing kits to ensure that areas that are being lockdown have their residents tested. More so, government was supposed to make adequate arrangement to have food and essential items provided for the poor and vulnerable before imposing the lockdown. Even at that, those who have money cannot also get anything to buy. Government is supposed to provide the people foodstuff that will last the period of the lockdown but it was not done and the people are suffering.

Hembadoon Usar: Our major challenge and pain following the lockdown over Coronavirus pandemic is that the markets are closed and we cannot get foodstuffs and essential items to buy. The truth is that the measures put in place by the government to check the spread of COVID-19 in the country may be well intentioned but most Nigerians believe that the government was slow in reacting to the outbreak of the virus and didn’t do its home work well. People have been forced to stay at home, they cannot go out to do their normal businesses from which they provide for their families and no incentives have been extended to them. How does the government want such Nigerians to survive? It’s like running away from the frying pan and jumping into the fire.

We were expecting that foodstuff ought to be distributed to the people but nothing like that is happening at the moment. Even the palliatives have not gotten to Nigerians and government thinks people will give heed to the lockdown directive. That is why you can see that even in Abuja people are going about their businesses because you don’t expect the people to sit down and die in hunger. Other parts of Nigeria should also be given the Lagos treatment. You cannot give Lagos all the support and abandoned other parts of the country as if they are not facing the same challenge.

KADUNA

By Ibrahim HassanWuyo

Malam Muhammadu,a meat seller, said only few people sneaked out to buy from them and that he didn’t even have enough money to keep the business afloat as he had already spent a substantial part of the capital in buying food for the family.

Similarly, Malama Mai Kosai,who fried bean cake ‘akara’, lamented the low patronage because of the lockdown. The woman who sells along the busy Baso Road in Hayin Banki, said students and other individuals who used to buy from her, were now in their various homes. According to her, “before the lockdown, “I made up to N3,000 a day but now I hardly get N1000 and I am the breadwinner of my family, having lost my husband two years ago. Food is our major problem now. We heard that government is distributing free food. We hope it will get to our turn,soon,” she said.

KANO

By Abdulmumin Murtala, Kano

Mr Bashir Yusuf, a medical personnel and expert in preventive health believes that more need to be done especially with the alarming rate at which the virus is growing in the country. “A lot of people are yet to understand the need to observe the basic rules especially when it comes to staying away from crowds. People still observe social gatherings in the state and this is a violation of preventive measures” he said.
A journalist Bala Muhammad who writes for an online medium in Kano complained that he had not seen his family in the last three weeks due to COVID-19. “I have not been able to see my wife and kids who are in Kaduna for the past three weeks because I work in Kano and cannot travel to Kaduna due to the lockdown, this is seriously affecting me” he said.

A civil servant who preferred his name not being mentioned said “I don’t mind the break but it is not nice at all staying at home, but we have no choice”.

How South East residents were coping with the lockdown
By Anayo Okoli, Ikechukwu Odu, Peter Okutu, Chimaobi Nwaiwu & Chinonso Alozie.

ENUGU- It was not a total lockdown in Enugu, as only markets, shopping malls and places of worship were ordered closed. Petty traders who sell food stuff and food vendors were still doing their business while transporters, including commercial bus drivers and Keke operators were operating but they must observe social distancing as the number of passengers they should carry had been drastically reduced.
However, in some council areas in Nsukka zone, including Nsukka, Udenu, Igbo-Etiti, Igbo-Eze North, there were tales of hopelessness and anguish by the residents.

A timber dealer at Eke Ozzi Market in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of the state, Fidelis Adonu, said providing for the households since the lockdown took effect has been challenging as their market was totally locked.

Also, a mother of six, Ukamaka Asogwa, who trades on fairly used clothes at Ngwo Ibagwa, in Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area said she has not been going to market since the lockdown.
While lamenting the effect of the lockdown, a commercial photographer at Udenu Local Government Area who pleaded anonymity said that all the jobs he secured from clients this Easter have been cancelled as the state government has placed ban on social functions to contain the spread of the virus.
Though some local government areas in Nsukka zone have been giving relief materials to the constituents, the residents said very few people were privileged to get the items and even those who got complained that the items were not sufficient to sustain them throughout the period of the lockdown.

In Ebonyi State, the lockdown was really telling hard on the citizens of the state.
Air Condition repairer, Mr. Ekene Nkwuda who has a shop at the Abakaliki Mechanic Village, lamented that the number of customers coming to his shop had reduced for fear of contracting the virus.
A House wife and an employee at a Federal Institution in the State, Mrs Janerita Peter lamented the rise in prices of food stuff. “The price of food items has increased in Ebonyi. Some people are using the
lockdown as an opportunity to milk their fellow citizens. Garri has increased from N17, 000 to N35000 for 100 kg. If government doesn’t intervene, in few weeks, much money will soon start chasing few goods in the state”.

In Imo State, the situation is the same. Residents of Owerri and other areas of the State have been battling to cope with the lockdown, with their challenge being how to cope with the cost of feeding as well as high price of food items in the markets.
Also, there have been complaints by residents regarding the dispositions of the security agencies that had been harassing them in the course of enforcing the lockdown.

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.