By Ismaeel Uthman
The Iyaloja-General of the State of Osun, Alhaja Awawu Asindemade, has cautioned market men and women and traders generally in the state against violating the guidelines set out by the state government on the management of Coronavirus pandemic.
Asindemade, in an interview with OSUN DEFENDER yesterday, warned that violating the guidelines is injurious to personal and public health, pleading with traders in the various markets to adhere strictly to the precautionary measures put in place by the government to curtail COVID-19 spread.
She stated this just as the state government had threatened to shut any market that refuses to adhere to safety protocols on the virus.
The government lamented that it observed non-compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines by traders in most markets, saying that it would not hesitate to shut down any market where low level of compliance with the precautionary measures is observed henceforth.
Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, who gave the warning in a statement made available to OSUN DEFENDER on Wednesday, said the government was worried over the level of non-compliance in the markets.
Mrs. Egbemode said: “With the increased efforts of the enforcement team, the state government has noticed a significant improvement in the level of compliance with the safety guidelines against COVID-19 among individuals. Unfortunately, our markets remain a source of worry.
“The government is deeply concerned that our market women and men have largely been non-compliant that the same degree improvement is absent in our markets.
“There have been a lot of advocacies and sensitisation programmes about the virus, specifically targeted at market operators, but there has been resistance to the guidelines in that quarter.
“The government has, therefore, ordered that enforcement be scaled up in the various markets across the state in the next few hours, and where flagrant disregard for safety protocols are observed, such markets should be shut immediately.”
However, the Iyaloja-General appealed to the market men and women to follow the COVID-19 guidelines, saying that free face masks had been given to them.
She lamented that traders in the markets have formed the habit of keeping their face masks in pockets or in a small bowls where they normally keep money.
Asindemade said the leaders of the market men and women would not relent in their effort to ensure that they all comply with safety measures in supporting the government in the fight against the Coronavirus.