Nnewi – Following the shutdown Monday, of Agbo-Edo New Motor Spare Parts Market Nnewi, due to non-compliance with Covid-19 safety and preventive protocols put in place to forestall the spread of the virus in the State, the market leaders have appealed to Anambra government for leniency.
A statement from the government on Saturday, signed by the state Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Chief Uchenna Okafor, had ordered the closure of the market for one week, starting from Monday, 8th February, 2021.
The statement had cited brazen disregard of the COVID safety protocols by the traders and customers as the reason for the action.
It also requested that the officials of the market appear before the state commissioner for health, Dr Vincent Okpala for retraining and recertification, within the period of the closure.
A visit by TNC correspondent to monitor the level of compliance to the closure order, revealed that the sixteen gates to the market were under lock and key as some traders in the market were loitering around the vicinity.
Some of the traders who spoke to TNC correspondent, bemoaned the closure of the market and said the State Government should have at least issued an earlier warning before the closure.
However in an interview, the Chairman of Agbo-Edo New Motor Spare Parts Market, Dennis Ikegwuonu, pleaded with Governor Willie Obiano for forgiveness and said they regret the non-compliance to COVID-19 protocols.
“We will ensure that we put in place very strict measures to ensure strict compliance to COVD-19 protocols by both our traders and customers. The hardship this closure will cause our traders is enormous and we have resolved to change,” he pleaded.
Ikegwuonu also stated that his taskforce will not only be checking at the entrances of the market but also in shops and every corners of the market to make sure the traders and their customers always put on their face mask.
Speaking on the government ban, the Transition Committee Chairman, Nnewi North Council, Hon Chukwudi Orizu observed that the ravages of the second wave of COVID-19 should be of serious concern to everyone.
“This justifies Anambra state government’s decision to enforce strict measures to reduce the spread which include their action on the market closure. I urge the Agbo-Edo traders and other traders within Nnewi to abide by the Anambra state directives so that the market will be reopened soon,” he maintained.