Kelvin Peter – Yenogoa

The Governor of Bayelsa state, Senator Douye Diri has imposed a dusk – to – dawn curfew as part of measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus pandemic in the state.

The curfew took effect from Sunday, the 19th April, restricting movements between 7pm to 6am.

A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Orientation, Freston Akpor, member Bayelsa State Task Force On COVID-19, said “the measures was part of proactive efforts to arrest the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“The curfew is to further reinforced the ban on social gatherings particularly night clubs, beer palour, bar and nocturnal worship activities to enhance social distancing.

“It will be observed across the state and security personnel have been placed on high alert to ensure compliance.

“The State Government has began measures to keep the state free from the global pandemic by commencing the demolition of decongested illegal structures across market in the state capital.

“The demolition team who visited the biggest and most popular Swali market in the metropolis spare none of the illegal structures or traders who weep uncontrollable as the bulldozers descends on their make shift structures lining the roads to the market interior”.

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According to the Covid 19 implementation committee chairman, Dr. Inodu Apoku, “illegal structures as have been removed so that the place will be conducive for them to maintain the social distance that is relevant to manage the Covid-19.

“And this is a obligation that they have to obey, most especially in this period of Covid-19, its not only washing of hands that is needed but physical/social distance has to be obeyed and government will not over look this rules, they must be obey, with most especially when they have made provision for them to go inside the market.”

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“The demolition is for the interest of everybody and not a deliberate attempt to put them out of business, there are space available for them to do their business why they still maintain their social distance.”

“Bayelsans and residents should not see this action as a punishment, government wants to save Bayelsa and keep it safe and healthy as they go about their normal businesses”.

Also speaking the Technical Assistant on security matters to the state governor, Boma Sparrow-Jack, who led the security team, said, “the traders has been allocated to stores but they refused to go there, they got here and took over roads leading to the markets as stalls”.

One of the trader, Florence Osike, who store was demolished lamented that, I lost thousands of Naira to this exercise, i only got wind of the demolition exercise just a day before”.

However, the market General Chairman, Jackson Boubra, said “government has sent out notice of the demolition on several occasions, but insisted that most of the traders turn deaf ear to several warning to vacate such illegal structures”.

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