Gov Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State

Some Aba residents on Tuesday flouted the stay-at-home executive order of the Abia government, which is meant to check the possible spread of Coronavirus into the state.

Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu on Tuesday, March 24, endorsed a set of directives meant to check the spread of the pandemic in Abia.

The directives included buses taking fewer passengers and traders procuring hand-washing materials for customers entering their shops and stalls.

The government later ordered a complete lockdown of the state on April 1, to ensure the disease did not get into the state, which was yet to record any case.

A news correspondent who went round the town discovered that there were many people moving about in some streets along the Aba-Owerri Road and adjoining streets.

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Contrary to the government’s instructions, some non-essential service businesses were opened to customers in the city.

Some shops along the Abia University Teaching Hospital Road and adjoining streets, like barbing salons, hairdressing salons, electrical and electronic shops, as well as businesses dealing in general wares were opened.

Most transporters, who flouted the order to operate in the city, were carrying more passengers than the government directed them to carry at a time, against the social distancing protocol.

A driver, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that they were taking more passengers because there were few vehicles on the road, with many passengers on the streets.

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Mr Ndudiri Anyaehie, a resident, who spoke, said the government was responsible for residents flouting the stay-at-home order.

“If the government of Abia had paid workers salaries before the lockdown, it would have been easy for people to adhere to the directive.

“If both the state and the Federal Governments had given people food, they would have stayed at home. What you see driving people out to the streets is not money, it is to get food for themselves and their family members.

“I tell you that in Aba, you can hardly get 70 per cent compliance, if the government fails to meet their feeding needs, during the lockdown.

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”So our government should do the right thing, then the right answer will come out of it,” he said.