Situations at the popular oja-oba market in Akure, the Ondo state capital today May 2, 2020 raised questions if Nigerians are really aware of the havoc the Coronavirus pandemic has wreaked globally.
Do we say our people are still doubting the reality about this pandemic or they are just being proven stubborn to obey preventive directions and observe measures outlined by the authorities to contain the spread of COVID-19?.
A 30 minute experience inside the Akure market today revealed the negligence and carelessness on the part of Nigerians towards this global crisis. There was nothing like social distancing, wearing of masks, no sight of hand sanitizer.
Worst of all was that a fracas ensued between two young men who were both sellers inside the Olukayode market. It was a serious exchange of physical blows, and to the amazement of this writer, who was highly disappointed and forgot to quickly take the photograph of the scene, over 10 people gathered round the fighters in an attempt to separate them.
These people struggled together for minutes, before the brawl ended. Among them, who knows who is already a carrier of this deadly virus?
Just adjacent the scene of the fight, many women, majorly young ones, who are supposed to be more conscious of the situation on ground were seen busy selecting fairly used clothes popularly known as ‘Toks’. Aside not maintaining physical distancing, aren’t they supposed to wear hand gloves considering the circumstances surrounding the items they were picking? As majority of them are not wearing masks.
As at yesterday evening, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, confirmed four new cases in Ondo state, totalling 13 in all. If some of these people lack access to the internet for the COVID-19 update, didn’t they listen to the radio? This call for concern. Our people need serious sensitisation.
In an interface with one of the clothes sellers to ask if the items were freshly smuggled to Akure, replying in pigin, he claimed that he bought them not quite long before the lockdown and it was his source of livelihood.