Pandemonium nearly broke out at the popular Abuja Wuse Market, on Saturday 11, when members of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) enforcing the compliance to the COVID-19 restrictions guidelines stormed the market and ordered shut immediately.
The officials who came in Hillux Jeeps, at exactly 3pm went to the entrance of the market and closed all the gates except one and ordered the traders inside the market to close their shop. They also stopped customers who came to do their weekend shopping from gaining entry. The traders had to squeeze themselves through the only gate to exit the market.
One of the officials who spoke to Educationtell said they received order from the presidency to shut the market but did not know why the sudden directive. It would be recalled that all markets in the Federal Capital Territory were restricted to three days of operation from 10am to 3pm weekly.
However, from the first easing of the lockdown the restriction of markets for only three days weekly and between 10am to 3pm was no longer enforced.
The official who led the taskforce was not willing to speak as his team continued to redirect drivers and pedestrians away from the market entrance.
Asked why they did not announce the shutting down of the market, he retorted that the restriction stipulated that markets must close at 3pm and so they only came to enforce it. He, however, did not say if the enforcement affected all major markets in the FCT.
The action of the taskforce officials left a lot of the traders and customers speculating whether the presidency got information that there was an outbreak of the coronavirus in the Wuse market.
This reporter visited the Kado Market in Gwarimpa Estate and the Dutse Alhaji Market all in the FCT and reports that both markets were not closed from 3pm as traders and customers were going about their activities.