COVID-19: We’ll declare total lockdown – Kaduna Govt warns defiant residents

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Kaduna Gov. – Nasire El-Rufai

Kaduna state government has warned those violating the ongoing curfew of a possible total lockdown if they do not desist.

The government said it will close the two-day window it has provided for residents to restock food supplies residents continue to defy the order.

Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe who handed down this warning on Monday, said that government has ordered security agents to deal decisively with anybody who continues to flout the rule.

A statement issued on Monday by Special Adviser to Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, said, the Deputy Governor was alarmed that some people take the Coronavirus disease for granted, which explains why they are defying the lockdown.

Kaduna state government had reviewed the 24-hour lockdown last Wednesday, by giving a two-day window of Tuesday and Wednesday every week, to enable residents buy food and restock other essential commodities.

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The Deputy Governor noted that, the restriction of movement has been serially violated while threatening to revert to the 24-hour lockdown.

According to Dr Balarabe, the State Task Force on COVID-19 met with representatives of traders and resolved that dealers of foodstuff and essential commodities are permitted to bring in and offload their goods five times in a week, including Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The Deputy Governor warned that “only food and essential commodities will be sold on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when markets open, sellers of other merchandise are not included in the exemption. Residents should shop only in markets within their neighbourhoods as going to far-flung commercial hubs is not allowed.

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“Traders and buyers are to observe social distancing at the markets. Kawo market will remain closed because it does not have space for social distancing. Traders must desist from the callous, unacceptable and inhuman practice of hiking prices of commodities during this emergency period.

“Government will not hesitate to prosecute unscrupulous traders, f they do not desist from this un-Godly 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,’’ the Deputy Governor warned.

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