Residents of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital have lamented the difficulties they have been going through since the state government imposed a fresh curfew.
The government had imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the state as part of measures to prevent the spread of the surging trait of the new variants of COVID-19.
The curfew which is between the hours of 8pm and 6am daily commenced on Sunday May 16 and will last till further notice according to a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Orientation, and Strategy, Mr Ayiba Duba.
A legal practitioner, Mr. Ebinyu Aderigha, said it was needless to impose a curfew when other COVID-19 preventive protocols are not observed.
Aderigha who is the chairman of the Sagbama branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), urged the government to call off the curfew, as it has adversely affected the economy of the state.
He said most businesses in the state thrive during the night and they are the reason for the buoyant local economy, hence their closure as a result of the curfew will have a negative effect on the common man.
He said: “If the curfew is being imposed mainly because of COVID-19 then it’s unnecessary and the reason is not sufficient. The entry points in the state are quite porous.
“They have killed the night life and many businesses thrive at night. We are in a state where we should encourage investors because of the huge taxes.
“They are only enriching security operatives because they collect money from defaulters and allow them to go so there’s really no curfew”.
He said there is no need to create such a tension in the state, adding that if the curfew is because of a security threat then it is understandable.
In the same vein another resident, Mimshack Sintei called on the government to extend the curfew to 10pm to make the situation easier for residents to cope with.
“It is adversely affecting the way of life in Yenagoa. The economic wherewithal has been cut short and this is not good for the state”, he said.
Queen Bestman on her part said worship centres, schools and markets remain open without social distancing being observed, adding that the rush hour traffic before 8pm is a great risk to the people.
She said: “If it’s for security reasons I would have liked the idea, but if it’s for COVID-19 I don’t see the point because social distancing is not being observed.
“It leaves us to wonder if the virus works only at night because during the day time people go on with their normal activities and that is when they come together more in the market area, churches and the rest”.
They expressed hope that the government will heed to the cry of Bayelsans and review the curfew, considering that it is not of any benefit to the state.