Many people that gathered in markets in Owode, Ede and Okinni in Egbedore Local Government Area of Osun State, were on Thursday dispersed by security agents.
Some goods belonging to the traders were also reportedly seized by the security men, who were said to be enforcing order of government on market closure.
Osun State Government had announced total closure of all markets in the state to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to the state with effect from today, Friday.
But a trader in Okinni market, identified as Odunayo, told our correspondent that some security personnel stormed the market between 10am and 11am, Thursday and dispersed people.
She said, “Many traders left their wares when they heard that security men were coming. We came to the market because we were told the ban would start from Friday.
“We didn’t expect the ban to take effect from today (Thursday). I left some of my wares and ran. Many other traders also left their goods to avoid arrest. Those that came parked some of our wares and took them away.”
Another trader at Owode market, Ede, who preferred not to named, said many traders had already arrived markets when security personnel and council officials dispersed them.
Chairman, Ede North Area Office, Mukaila Usman, who was at the market to supervise the exercise, said he held a meeting with leaders of the market to intimate them of government’s plans to close markets as parts of measures to curb spread of coronavirus.
“We held a meeting with the Babaloja and the Iyaloja based on the governor’s instruction last week not to allow people to gather anywhere in the state, but our people don’t want to listen, despite the explanation.
“Our people are still not getting it right. We dispersed them with the help of our security personnel. The lives of our people are our priority and we have to continue until they obey us,” Usman said.
Special Adviser to Osun State Governor on Security Matter, Abiodun Ige, said the lockdown of markets would commence on Friday.
She, however, said officials of the state Ministry of Environment were only in markets across the state to ensure that traders comply with social distancing directive of the state government. – Punch.