Hardship, hunger, anguish trail Wike’s lockdown of Diobu

By Kelechi Esogwa-Amadi

The current lockdown of Diobu, a densely populated area of Port Harcourt, by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, is eliciting criticism, condemnation and lockdown to lamentation from residents of the area.

Governor Wike had, at the weekend, ordered total lockdown of Diobu from Education Bus Stop, Mile 1 to Rivers State University roundabout, Mile 3.

He also extended the lockdown to Creek Road axis of Port Harcourt.

The lockdown is part of measures being taken by the Wike administration to prevent the spread of the dreaded corona virus pandemic in Rivers State, as Diobu is deemed a very busy area.

But the lockdown, TPCN gathered, is already bringing terrible hardship on residents of Diobu, with most of them complaining of hunger, threat of criminality, exposure to hunger-related diseases and harassment by security agents.

A woman in the area complained to TPCN on Wednesday that since the lockdown started on Sunday, life has become unbearable for her and her family which she said depended on her daily sales of vegetables, crayfish and a few other cooking items to survive.

She said: “I could not sell anything on Sunday and Monday. Security agents were just chasing people here and there. They were going from street to street looking for people who sell in front of their houses and throwing away their items. They spoilt some people’s markets; so because of that fear I could not come out again to sell. The little things I sell we have eaten them and no where to go and buy. The markets have been closed for more than one month. How are we going to survive? How will I feed my five children?”

Another woman, who sells food items at the Timber Street, Mile 2, lamented that some policemen destroyed her garri when they came to they market, adding that she is finding life very difficult now.

TPCN reports that the Rivers State governor has locked down Diobu twice since the fight against covid-19 started last month.

The first lockdown and subsequent curfew allegedly witnessed a lot of human rights abuses by security agents, hunger, frustration and increasing rate of criminality as complained by some residents of the area.

However, few days after the curfew, the governor called it off, and normalcy returned apart from the closure of markets.