-Stranded commuters painfully trek long distances

By Martin Opara

The dusk to dawn curfew imposed by the state government as part of measures aimed at controlling the EndSARS protests that ravaged the state recently, has subjected Imo people to increased pain, suffering and hardship, as some stranded commuters, now trek as long as 10 kilometers to get home after their daily businesses and transactions.

Commuters in the state, especially those who live outskirts now find it difficult to get vehicles to take them to their various destinations, as most of the roads are blocked and manned by gun trotting soldiers who are not ready to listen to or consider any explanation.

The Governor in a recent broadcast announced that all major roads be blocked and vehicular movements restricted, as from 6pm daily. He also imposed a curfew which excludes those in the health sector, media practitioners and others who are on essential assignments.

But the problem now, according to some Imolites, is that even those excluded from the curfew, now find it difficult to move about as most of the roads are now blocked by soldiers who now block the roads earlier than the said time for selfish motives.

The situation is worse for people who live around Irete, Orogwe, Ogbaku, Orji, Avu, Obinze, Mgbirichi, Ubomiri, Nwaorieubi, Agbala, Ulakwo, Naze, etc who are now forced to trek home if for whatever reason they remain in the town later than 6pm.

Cross sections of Imo people who are not comfortable with the stressful and traumatic development have described the curfew as an ill wind that is blowing no one good. They urged the state government to, as a matter of urgency review the order and allow people get home with ease after the day’s transactions. “Those who sell or engage in other lawful businesses and transactions in the evening should also not be restricted.”

“Imo people have suffered several restrictions and deprivations since the Covid -19 induced lock down in March. This negatively affected their businesses and means of livelihood, with attendant pain, suffering and hardship. The present curfew imposed by the Hope Uzodinma shared prosperity government, will aside aggravating the peoples’ problem increase the poverty index. It is therefore counter productive and should be urgently reviewed,” they stated.

A medical doctor who was trapped on his way to the clinic, alongside his colleague said, ‘this is a terrible situation. How am I expected to park the car here and trek for almost seven kilometers to attend to patients on emergency in the hospital? Government should please address this disturbing situation. An Out Broadcast (OB) van conveying some staff of one of the radio stations in the capital city was also trapped in the traffic web on their way from an assignment.