Residents of Ilorin, the Kwara capital, on Monday, trooped out in numbers and congested the city as they try to accomplish lots of activities at the same time within the stipulated four hours given by the State Government.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the rush followed the total lockdown imposed on the state on April 10.
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, however, allowed the residents to restock their needs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 10 a.m and 2 p.m each day.
NAN recalls that the Kwara Government had on April 9 announced a total lockdown of all the 16 local government areas of the state in an effort to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The state government made the order after the report of two positive cases in Kwara, and another two recent positive cases, making a total of four positive cases in the state.
The government also allowed foodstuff traders, pharmacies, banks and essential workers to conduct their legitimate businesses and duties.
Mr Tope Attah, a motorist, said that there has been a slow movement of vehicles since 10.30 a.m, as many people tried to visit different places at the same time, within the period of time given by the government.
Attah said that the road that leads to the markets, banks and the heart of the city like Taiwo, Unity and Post Office areas, as well as Emir’s road, were congested.
“Many people parked their vehicles and moved around with commercial motorcycle, while others trekked to their various destinations.
“Most people find it difficult to exercise patience and allow free flow of traffic, thereby causing more delay and stress in the process,” Attah said.
Mrs Riskat Alani, a trader, said that the market opened exactly 10 a.m and many people started patronising the sellers since then.
“The market is overcrowded, making it difficult to compare prices of goods before buying, as people are mindful of the virus and want to leave the market as soon as possible
“Few people put on protective face masks, but many people are conscious of body contact, despite the population of people in the market,” she said.
Madam Funmi Jones, a buyer, complained of high rise in food prices, saying that Nigerians are opportunistic.
“The lockdown has made almost everything in the market to be very expensive, and the buyers are left with no choice than to buy the food to avoid hunger
“The government should try and control the price of food in the market, to make the sellers have the fear of been prosecuted for unnecessary increase in price,” she said.
NAN however observed that many people cannot achieve their aim before the 2 p.m deadline given by the government.
The report added that security operatives were seen chasing many people out of queues at ATM plazas, markets were forcefully closed down and people were beaten for moving beyond the approved time.