The Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has warned that any trader caught inflating prices of goods or hoarding essential commodity, especially foodstuffs and drugs, will have his goods impounded.
The governor stated this as the ban on open trading, including markets and supermarkets, started on Wednesday.
He, however, approved creation of temporary markets in designated primary and secondary schools across the state for the sale of foodstuffs and water.
Okowa said, “Pursuant to the Infections Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020, it shall be an offence to inflate the prices of/or hoard food, drugs and other essential goods and services within the state during this period of emergency.
“Anybody found in contravention of this order may have such essential goods seized or forfeited to the state as stipulated in the law.
“Markets for only the sales of food items and water will be organised in designated primary/secondary schools in each Local Government Area of the state; they will be coordinated and supervised by the local government chairmen and their teams to ensure compliance with the rules on social distancing.”
He added that aside from those on essential duties such as medical workers, journalists, security agencies, firefighters among few others, other residents of the state should remain at home for the two-week lockdown.
Okowa also asked banks in the state to operate by providing skeletal services during the period of the lockdown in the state.
Meanwhile, the Delta State Police Command has re-affirmed its determination to strictly enforce the lockdown order, stating that anyone found wanting will face the full wrath of the law.
The state Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, in a statement on Wednesday said, “As part of measures to prevent/contain the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 in Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has ordered a lockdown with effect from 1st of April, 2020 at 0600 hours (6am).
“The police, therefore, urge citizens to remain law-abiding and voluntarily comply with the orders.
“The state police re-affirmed the command’s determination to strictly enforce the orders as anyone found wanting will face the full wrath of the law.
“All Area Commanders, DPOs and heads of tactical/operational departments of the command are to ensure strict enforcement of the order.”