Akwa Ibom Livestock Traders have urged the state government to reopen livestock markets in the state.
Leader of the livestock sellers in Akwa Ibom State, Hassan Sadauki made this call at a meeting with the Secretary to the State Government, Emmanuel Ekuwem.
Following the spread of the novel COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant lockdown, livestock markets in the state have been under lock and key, for four months.
At the closure of the markets, Governor Udom Emmanuel, on May 11, placed a ban on cattle, goats, and rams from being moved into the state from other states.
Sadauki decried the untold hardship occasioned by the market closure, on the farmers.
He, however, assured the sellers’ readiness to abide by all guidelines given by the government, once the markets reopen.
“The unfortunate closure of the livestock market has brought untold hardship to the dealers on livestock in the State; hence, we are appealing to the state government to give consideration to re-opening of the market.
“Most of us are solely dependent on the business for the upkeep of our families, and will do everything to protect their source of income by adhering strictly to the government’s guidelines”, he said.
On his part, Ekuwem, who doubles as the chairman of the Akwa Ibom COVID-19 Management Committee said the reopening of the livestock market in the state will be considered.
He, however, warned against total disobedience of the stated guidelines, adding that the government may consider total closure of the markets at the identification of any breach of protocol.
He said, “There is a notion peddled by some individuals that COVID-19 is not real. To me, such belief by people is dangerous to society.
“The disease has gotten to a stage that if not properly managed, new cases can break out immediately through Community spreading.”