Thousands of residents, in Sapele,Delta State, today, grounded the timber town to a halt, when they took to the streets of the town, in protest, demanding an end to Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa’s extension of lockdown in the state.
The governor had made a broadcast to residents of the state, yesterday morning announcing the extension of the 14-day Lockdown which began on April 1, for another two weeks and imposing a dusk to dawn curfew.
This morning in defiance of the order, women in their hundreds took their protest to the streets of the town, as early as 7:30am demanding an end to the lockdown.
Chanting “we no go gree o, we no go gree” by some of the women, others chanted “freedom, freedom” the women in their thousands were joined by other residents of the town including artisans, tricycle motorcycle riders, and others
“We prefer to come outside and die than to be locked indoor, we have stayed inside for two weeks we can’t go to the market, we can’t go anywhere, we are hungry, we will not accept this” Madam Tina Akpometiro told Vanguard. Another woman who introduced herself as Mrs Oke James told Vanguard, they were tired of staying at home,
“we are hungry and we don’t want food, let us go out and fend for ourselves. We want to go back to our normal lives, we are tired of sitting at home”
A Keke rider who called himself Jonah Ameh said “though the step.was the right thing, they were tired of not being able to fend for their family and want an end to the lockdown”
Others, who spoke were Sapele-Okpe Community leader Dr. Vincent Ekariko, and Mr Aderopo Peters, a doctor, who demanded immediate release of food items, saying Deltans are hungry.
“If you say people should stay at home, tell me, what will they eat, while the leaders stock their home with foodstuff, no water, no electricity, no food for the poor ones, what do you want them to do? They should stay at home and die? ” Dr Ekariko ask.
The Sapele local government chairman, Hon Eugene Inoaghan, who tried to pacify the crowd with loads of security men was openly rebuffed, with the crowd chanting “we want freedom, we want freedom” however there was pandemonium when the chairman left, with the crowd openly confronting security men with stones, an action that led to burning of tyres and wood.