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COVID-19: Kwara residents, workers lament shutdown

Residents and workers in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara, have started crying over the sudden shutdown imposed by the state government to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

They decried the shutdown in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Ilorin.

The respondents said shutdown took them unprepared because of non-payment of salaries to workers, describing the action as hasty and taken without workers’ interest.

Mrs Adedoyin Akinwande, a civil servant, said: “We were praying that our salaries be paid on time before the shutdown, so that we can have money to buy little things needed.

“Is the government ready to give us food or are we going to starve isolating ourselves?

“In as much as we appreciate their concern, I think salaries should be paid first,” she said.

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Another worker, Mr Ahmed Salawu, said: “I think this is very unfair and inconsiderate of both workers and residents in the state.

“Do we eat the air while at home? They weren’t considering us, federal workers have not been paid, neither has state and local government workers.

“Is this how the government intends to fight the pandemic by starving us? We are not pleased with the decision.”

A resident, Mr Kamilu Adigun, said that it was a good decision but with little or no notice from the government.

“They did not inform us, it was too sudden, we expect them to give us few days to prepare, poverty is in the land.

“People don’t have money to stock their homes with food or other needs,” he said.

Mrs Omoronke Obafemi said that as a trader closing the markets suddenly is not good, adding that they were not informed and they had to panic and do things in haste.

A taxi driver, Mr Isa Abdullahi, said: “It is like they have taken food from us suddenly; how can they close our parks like that? It is not fair at all, we understand it is for our good, but I am in shock right now.”

NAN recalls that the state government through the Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, on Wednesday said that the government had banned commercial transportation, closed all mosques, churches and markets effective from March 26.

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