By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
The Delta State Police Command has dispelled allegations that following the outrageous increase of foodstuffs at the Popular Ogboeogonogo market in Asaba, Delta State by the traders ahead of the total lockdown order by the state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, angry and disillusioned soldiers including mobile policemen on Tuesday stormed the market to allegedly beat traders believed to have been extorting the masses for no reasons adduced.
It was gathered that in Asaba, angry mobile policemen and soldiers compelled the traders to reduce the prices of food items, especially basins of garri and beans to the old prices, leaving the onlookers in standing Jubilations including buyers in their last minute rush to stock their homes with foodstuffs .
Eyewitness, Nkechi Helen said that the soldiers and policemen came in two pickups van around 10.30 am unknown to the traders they were out for them and ensure the prices of food items were reduced.
However, reacting to the incident, the Police Commissioner in the state, Hafiz Muhammed Inuwah said that no trader was beaten to injuries.
He said that the combined efforts of the soldiers and policemen to the market brought relief to Asaba residents, especially those unemployed residents among others and warned that the security agents will enforce the sit at home order today ( Wednesday) in the state.
Investigation revealed that jubilations greeted thousands of Asaba residents as basin of garri was used to be N2,000 suddenly crashed to N600,00 including rubber of beans now N400,00.
It was also reported that on Monday in Warri metropolis in the state, angry youths that caused pandemonium descended on the market women in Warri, Uvwie and Udu Local Government Areas of the state to force the traders to reduce prices of commodities which escalated following the lockdown declared by the state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa to curtail the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in the state.
The angry youths allegedly beat up traders who had increased food items for the poor masses, especially for the unemployed as residents of the oil rich city of Warri have attributed the sudden rise in prices to the unprecedented number of buyers who have been visiting the markets to stock their homes in preparation for the two weeks proposed lockdown by the Delta state government.
The markets thronged by buyers include: Igbudu market in Warri local government area, Effurun in Uvwie Local Government Area,Ogbe – Ijoh market, Warri, Agbarho , Udu among others.
It was gathered that the youths irked by the development, some youths invaded the Popular Effurun market where they allegedly beat up some of the traders, asking them to sell foodstuff, especially garri which was staple food among residents at the old prices before the outbreak of Covid-19 in Nigeria.