Lockdown: Commuters stranded on East/West road express anger, frustration

Lockdown: Commuters stranded on East/West road express anger, frustration

Sunday, March 29, 2020 10:02 am


Stranded commuters at the Mbiama-Yenagoa junction of the East-West road.

.. Stranded travelers, perishable goods, livestock in jeopardy
Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt
The closure of land borders  to prevent movement of persons from one state to another as part of the measures to curtail the spread of coronavirus has resulted into unbearable experiences for motorists, traders and travelers, investigation by this magazine, particularly in Rivers State has revealed.
On a visit to Mbiama, a boundary town between Rivers and Bayelsa states on the popular East-West road on Saturday, this magazine saw a large number of travelers, traders with perishable goods and livestock stranded due to directives from the governors of the two states barring all entries and exits from their territories.
Some of the stranded motorists and travelers who expressed their dissatisfaction with the lockdown, accused the governments of the two states of failure to carry out proper sensitization before carrying out the movement restriction order.
Some of the stranded motorists, travelers and traders who spoke our correspondent expressed anger and frustration at finding themselves in the middle of nowhere where they cannot go forward or go back.
A trader who gave her name as Mrs Anthonia Ibe said she and other women went from Port Harcourt to Bayelsa State to buy plantain only to be disallowed from going back to Port Harcourt:
“We have ran out of cash, we are hungry and not safe to be stranded on the road. Are we going to be sleeping here? For how long? Government cannot lock us out from meeting our families just like that.The battery in my phone has ran down, I can no longer communicate with my family.”
Another motorist, Ahmed Musa, a dealer in livestock is already counting his loses as three out of the 20 cows he had in a stranded trailer had died. He feared that more may die.
Musa, who said he was coming from Kano pleaded with the both Rivers and Bayelsa State government to open their borders so that food and livestock can be brought in because, according to him, those locked up at home must eat to survive.
“The intention of government is good to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, but there was not sufficient time given by both states before the closure of borders.”
Our Correspondent reports that worse hit are travelers with children who are minors. Some of the children were seen crying while their parents are exasperated and confused on what to do.
See more pictures below

Photos of stranded passengers at the Mbiama-Yenagoa junction of the East-West road.

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