Bayelsa domesticates quarantine act as Diri signs executive order
Residents Groan Over Rising Prices Of Food, Blackout
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has signed an Executive Order titled: Bayelsa Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020, as part of strategies to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus into the state.
Senator Diri said the executive order was in the exercise of the powers conferred on him pursuant to the provisions of Section 8 of the Quarantine Act of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and further pursuant to all other enabling laws and powers.
Signing the order on Thursday in Government House, Yenagoa, the Governor ordered a partial closure of markets in the state with effect from yesterday.
A press release by his Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as having ordered the temporary closure of all markets in the state, particularly Swali Market, which is the biggest in the state capital. He, however, explained that the order exempts food, water, pharmaceutical stores and others rendering essential services.
Already, residents of Bayelsa State are groaning over the effect of the partial lockdown in the state. For many, the devastating effect of the pandemic is the partial restriction of movement, increasing rise of prices of food items at the markets and the almost total blackout in the state.
Though the markets are not closed yet, most traders, who depend on food items from the neighbouring states and communities lament the high cost of procuring these items, especially with the restriction on vehicular and personal movement across neighbouring states of Rivers, Delta and Imo.
For example, a bag of pure water formerly sold at N100 per bag is now sold between N170 and #200, while garri, rice, yam and other food items have risen above 100 per cent.
Social activities are also grounded, as all ceremonies, including birthdays, burials, social gathering and even religious gathering were halted leading to a loom in the once vibrant city of Yenagoa and it environs.
The Governor has directed the ministries of Trade, Health, Environment and the Environmental Sanitation Authority to supervise the restrictions.Senator Diri, however, said hoarding of food, drugs and other essential goods and services, as well as artificially inflating prices shall be deemed as an offence. He said where a person breaches the directives, his administration would ensure the seizure and forfeiture of the food, drugs and other essential goods to the state.