Residents of Jos and environs have expressed mixed reactions over the Plateau State government decided to order the immediate closure of markets, the stay-at-home order for civil servants below Grade Level 12 amongst others as part of measures to prevent the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus disease ravaging the world.
The state government handed down the directives, Tuesday, when the Governor, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong, in a statewide broadcast, said the measures taken by the government to prevent the spread of the disease became expedient.
In the broadcast, Lalong ordered the partial closure of all markets in the state, banned street hawking and closure of stalls in the state except those selling foodstuffs, pharmaceutical products and other essentials.
The government also ordered that ongoing negotiation between the government and labour on the consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage be suspended and, all political appointees to forfeit fifty percent of their take-home package for the period pending when the economy improves
But in a swift reaction, some residents of the Tin city expressed reservations saying that the state government should have given the citizens some days to prepare to cushion the shock that may accompany the directive on the closure of markets and stalls.
Our correspondent who drove round the popular Terminus market in the heart of Jos and Bukuru in Jos South LGA observed that traders were seen standing in groups and discussing the situation while their shops remain under lock and key.
The ever-busy building materials market situated along the Jos-Bukuru highway is also a shadow of itself as all the shops remain under lock and key with a few traders who deal on vegetables such as green beans, carrots, potatoes etc were sighted making brisk business.
A trader who deals on second-hand clothing at the Abuja market in Terminus area, Uchenna Ogoji said the order came too sudden as it took us by surprise.
According to him: “the governor just addressed us yesterday (Tuesday) and said that the order will take effect from today (Wednesday). Some of us just restocked our shops and we don’t have the cash to feed our families with because we can’t sale any ware”.
On her part, Mrs Ishoka, a baby product merchant welcomed the government’s order saying it would go a long way in checking the spread of the virus in the state.
Ishola said, “even though this order may come with some discomfort, but at end of it we must pay the sacrifice to stop the disease from entering our state Plateau because only the living and the healthy can carry out any kind of transaction”.
Recall that some weeks earlier some Chinese Nationals and other Nigerians were isolated in Wase LGA when the expatriates flew into the country from Ethiopia. However, all the over forty persons tested negative to the Coronavirus; thereby placing Plateau State among states with zero Coronavirus case.