The Rivers State chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) and traders have kicked against continued closure of markets across the state introduced to curb a possible spread of coronavirus.
The Governor Nyesom Wike-led state government had ordered the closure of markets and put put residents under compulsory isolation pending when coast comes clear of the virus as part of health emergency response to the deadly respiratory disease.
However, disturbed by the continued closure which was affecting residents of the state, the leading opposition party called on Governor Wike to lift the ban and reopen markets in the state.
The Ag. Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC in Rivers State, Sokonte Davies, said the closure had become an impediment to the expansion of commerce and trade, both of which have clear impacts on the health of the Rivers economy.
Davies who spoke said while receiving a delegation of market women in the State who paid him a visit at the Party Secretariat on Wednesday, noted that the APC is aware of the suffering that traders are going through during the difficult times.
According to him, other measures can be taken in addressing concerns arising from the threat posed by the spread of coronavirus to bridge growing needs of people lockdown from earning decent living.
Davies noted that in spite of the lockdown which was in force across the country, most states found creative ways of getting their people to maintain social distancing and encouraging them to have access to the marketplace.
The APC advised Governor Wike to heed the cries of the traders and the people, saying there was no need to continue the lockdown of markets at this time.
He explained that the APC had a complete understanding of the situation and assured traders that a rejuvenated party which is currently engaged in efforts at reconciliation would defend the interests of Rivers people and those who reside in the State.
On her part, the Leader of Market Women Association in the State, Mrs Nonju said that traders and other owners of other businesses were going through harrowing times, following the continued lockdown of their sources of income.
She said they were at the party Secretariat to appreciate the good effort that party leaders are making to rebuild the APC, saying that the absence of a credible opposition has jeopardized the interest and welfare of Rivers people.
She then appealed to the APC to persuade the Wike administration to reconsider the harsh stance against market women who were being forced to remain at home.