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COVID-19: Edo Govt Enforces Market Relocation Order As Market Women Groan

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… Public Transporters Hike T-fare

By Joe Ebi

The directive given by the Edo State government some days back that all markets in the state should be shut down and consequently relocated to a nearby primary school was implemented on Wednesday, April 7.

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The state government had on Monday, April 6 ordered the shut down and relocation of major markets in the state.

Evbuotubu market, Egor LGA , Benin City, deserted when Info Daily visited on Wednesday.

Deputy Governor of the state, Philp Shaibu, while briefing newsmen on the said date, said the closure and reloaction of the markets was to enable the government fumigate them in order to curtail the spread of the novel Coronavirus in the state.

READ ALSO: Lockdown: Police Tear-gas Rioting Okada Riders In Delta

He noted that after the markets must have been successfully fumigated, they would be open for full operations and that businesses would return to normalcy.

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Still scene of Evbuotubu market on Wednesday when Info Daily visited

Meanwhile, INFO DAILY’s visit to one of the markets, Evbuotubu market, our reporter observed empty and deserted market while some women were seen in their 3, 4, discussing the new development.

Security personnel were also seen patrolling the market area with their hillux van to make sure people adhere to the directive.

Chicken section of Oliha market empty as at when Info Daily visited on Wednesday

A market woman spoke in pidgin with INFO DAILY but does not want her name mentioned in print, said there are other pressing issues government ought to attend to for market women rather than shutting down markets and reloacting them.

READ ALSO: Lockdown: Group Wants Courts exempted To Address Rising Abuses

According to her, at Evbuotubu market, they pay N400 revenue to the government everyday, stressing that this ought not to be.

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Scene of the ever busy Oliha market, Benin

While lamenting that all roads that link Evbuotubu have been a death trap for years, she called on the government to quickly rehabilitate these roads so has to make life easier for residents of the area.

Another women who spoke but does not want her name mentioned as well, said the government would have device another means of achieving it purpose rather than ordering marketers to relocate.

“This Evbuotubu market is for every four four days (sic). The government would have ask us to leave immediately after the regular market and fumigate it within the four days so that we can come for the regular market.

Empty scene of the ever busy Oba market

READ ALSO: BREAKING: COVID-19: Major Markets To Shut Down Temporarily In Edo, Says Deputy Governor

“Also, the ticket (sic) we are paying everyday is too much. We pay N400 to the government everyday when all what some people make in a day is not even much”, she noted.

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At Oliha market, the story was not different as the ever busy market was empty and deserted. Both regular and mobile policemen were seen standing at strategic locations apparently to enforce the government’s directive.

Meanwhile, visit to the popular Oba market, Oredo local government area, Benin shows the narrative was the same.

Scene of Oba market, Benin

As at when INFO DAILY was there, market men and women had been relocated while fumigation of the market and its environs had already commenced.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Ace Commedian Writes Buhari, Prescribes How To Combat Spread Of Pandemic

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In another development, public transporters have increased transport fare within Benin metropolis.

Investigation by INFO DAILY revealed that, in adherence to government’s directive of 2 persons in a roll and I person at the front, some drivers have increased their their charges by 100% while some increased theirs by 50%.

Still Oba Market , Benin

INFO DAILY gathered this at Evbuotubu market to ring road and other places visited today.

Recall, when government gave the directive of 2 persons in a roll, it was said the move was to maintain the social distancing precaution, warning that, this does not give motorists go ahead to hike their charges.

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Kelly Okogbowa, Vice Chairman, Edo State Taskforce Technical Committee on COVID-19, while giving the directive on behalf of the state government on Friday April 3rd said, “You are are to load two passengers at the back seat, two passengers at the middle seat and one passenger at the front seat. If you load more than this requirement, you will be arrested and be prosecuted accordingly.

Shops under lock and key at the popular Oba Market

“The state government wants to curb the spread of Coronavirus so this is how it will be for now.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: ‘Load More Than Two Passengers Per Seat, Get Arrested’, Edo Govt Warns Motorists

“You are not paying for ticket, that has been suspended. Fuel price has drop, so you are not expected to increase your price. You have no reason to inflate transport fare because what could have led you to do so had been addressed by the government. And so, you are expected to charge the old price.”

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Gunmen Kill Security Guard, Set Filling Station Ablaze In Ondo

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Gunmen have shot dead a security guard identified as Sunday who manned a filling station at Igoba community in the Akure-North Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Monday.

After killing the guard, the gunmen also reportedly set the filling station on fire.

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Speaking on the incident, the station manager, Ajisafe Oluwatobiloba, said he got notified about the fire incident but could not trace anyone responsible for the act.

He said, “In the morning, I was called by one of the residents, and on getting here, we saw the station burning, we called the fire service and they came to stop the fire not knowing the perpetrators had killed our security guard.

READ ALSO: Ondo Church: Drama As Indoctrinated Children Refuse To Follow Parents Home

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“While trying to figure out what could have caused the fire, we saw where the guard was tied and killed. We also saw the keg used by the arsonist filled with petrol which must have been used to wet the station before setting it on fire.”

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mrs Funmi Odunlami, who confirmed the incident, said investigation was ongoing to unravel the circumstances that led to it.

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NDLEA Secures 984 Illicit Drug Convictions

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has secured 984 convictions since January this year.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Mohammed Buba Marwa, who disclosed this on Monday, said the convictions were on drug-related offences.

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Marwa spoke at his residence in Yola while receiving newly elected executives of the Adamawa State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), saying the Nigerian population still has a huge percentage that depends on hard drugs.

He said about 15 million out of the 200 million Nigerians are into drugs and many of them are addicted.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari has launched War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) to reinvigorate the fight against hard drugs.

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According to him, more rehabilitation centres are on the way across the nation.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: NDLEA Burst Drug Cartel In Delta, Arrest Baroness, Seal Bunkers

He advocated collective efforts, with the media playing a vital part, in safeguarding the nation against hard drugs.

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Buba Marwa who congratulated his visitors over their victory at the recent NUJ council election, charged them to champion the fight against drug abuse.

Speaking earlier, the state Chairman of the NUJ, Comrade Ishaka Dedan pledged the union’s cooperation in enlightening the public on the scourge of hard drugs.

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Ondo Church: Drama As Indoctrinated Children Refuse To Follow Parents Home

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Children who were among the 77 individuals rescued from the subterranean cell of the Whole Bible Believers Church, also known as “Ondo Church,” in Ondo West Local Government Area, have refused to follow their parents home until their pastors are freed by the police.

As the parents of the majority of the victims sobbed over their children’s refusal to return home with them as a result of the purported hypnosis, the twist only seemed more unbelievable on Monday at the police headquarters.

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Some of the parents who besieged the police headquarters of the Ondo Command said their kids vowed not to leave the station until the pastors who were detained are released.

The parents complained that “black magic” had been used on the kids and insisted that the victims needed to undergo a comprehensive psychological evaluation.

Michael Olohunyomi, the father of one of the victims, revealed that his daughter Priscilla, 21, had been refusing to eat since Saturday because she believed the pastor should be freed.

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“I was a member of that church and I was there for 32 years,” the bereaved father cried. When Peter Josiah was appointed as the church’s assistant pastor, everything about it changed. He introduced harmful heresy.”

Wande Oladapo, a victim’s brother, expressed shock that his 40-year-old sibling could be hypnotized and stated, “My brother has refused to go home after he was discharged on Saturday. He vowed not to leave his pastor in the cell unattended.

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Funmilayo Odunlami, the state’s police public relations officer, commented on the development, saying, “Despite all of our efforts and attempts to appease them, someTension In Ondo Over Alleged Plan By Bandits To Attack Community of the victims refused to go home and insisted that they would stay here.

“One of our children declared that she would rather follow the Lord than her parents.”

The State Commissioner for Women Affairs and social development, Princess Bunmi Osadahun said, the state government was working towards rehabilitating the victims.

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