The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State has called on Governor Nyesom Wike to open markets saying it would reduce the hardship faced by residents.
The APC Ag. Caretaker Committee Chairman, Dr. Sokonte Davies, who conveyed the party’s position when he received a delegation of market women who paid him a visit at the Party Secretariat along Aba Road, Port Harcourt, said APC was aware of the suffering traders have been going through to maintain their families, a statement on Wednesday signed by Ogbonna Nwuke, Ag. State Publicity Secretary, said.
Davies contented that continued lockdown of markets by Gov. Wike had become an impediment to the expansion of commerce and trade, both of which have clear impacts on the health of the Rivers’ economy.
He acknowledged that there were smarter ways of addressing concerns arising from the threat posed by the spread of Coronavirus and a growing need to ensure that people are able to earn a decent living without any hindrance.
The APC Interim Chairman noted that despite 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, therefore, 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 told the traders that the APC had a complete understanding of the situation and assured them 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.
Earlier, the leader of the Market Women Association 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 were making to rebuild APC, saying that the absence of a credible opposition had jeopardized the interest and welfare of Rivers people.
She, therefore, appealed to the APC to persuade the Wike administration to reconsider the harsh stance against traders and re-open markets.