The government of Kaduna State has vowed to revisit the ongoing lockdown by closing the two-day window for people to re-stock food supplies if they continue to flout the quarantine rule.
The Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, who issued the notice in a statement on Monday, said the government has directed security personnel to deal with violators decisively from now on.
The state government had reviewed the April 1 ,twenty four hour lockdown by giving every week a two-day Tuesday and Wednesday window enabling residents to buy food and other important commodities.
The statement was released by Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser on Media and Communication, and made available to Kaduna newsmen.
Balarabe said she was shocked that some people take for granted the Coronavirus disease which explained why they defied the lockdown.
She said the movement restriction has been breached and threatened to resort to the lockout for 24 hours.
She further claimed that the State Task Force on COVID-19 met with traders ‘representatives and agreed that food and critical commodities dealers be allowed to bring in and discharge goods five days a week.
The days, she says, are; Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Balarabe cautioned that only food and necessary goods will be sold on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when the markets opened, adding that ‘sellers of other goods are not included in the exemption. “The deputy governor advised residents not to shop in markets within their communities as going too far for commercial hubs.
She also urged traders and buyers to observe social distance on the markets, warning that,“Kawo market will remain closed because it does not have space for social distancing.” In the emergency era, she further cautioned traders against hiking commodity prices, describing the practice as callous, unethical and inhuman.
She said that the government would prosecute the people she referred to as “unscrupulous traders” if they do not desist from the ungodly act.
“At this time, we will not just stand by and let a few elements add to the hardship already being faced because of selfishness,’’ she said
On palliatives, Balarabe said they are being distributed from clusters to households and in some local governments and that the target beneficiaries have already received deliveries.
“However, to ensure more transparency and accountability, the palliatives committee will work with credible Civil Society Organisations(CSOs), to monitor the distribution,’’ she added.
Balarabe added that the administration has put a robust system to check abuse and diversion of the essential commodities.
“Notwithstanding, no system is completely foolproof and in any case, another layer of monitoring will only improve on what is on ground’’, the deputy governor argued.