The governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed says government cannot afford to impose a total lockdown in the state “because the people must eat”.
The governor said this while commiserating with traders of Muda Lawal market on the inferno that destroyed some shops and property worth millions in the market.
He however urged the people to observe social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Mohammed said, “On behalf of the government of Bauchi State, we came to commiserate with you over this monumental loss in this Musa Lawal market, which is one of the biggest markets in Bauchi.
“I understand that about 17 shops have been burnt and one life was lost; the state government will take steps to cushion the effects of the losses by bringing some palliatives immediately, so that the traders will go back to business.
“I want to seize this opportunity to tell you that COVID-19 is a reality, I just came out of it and it is not a joke.
“I urge you to continue to exercise social distancing as we are going to enforce minimal lockdown, but we cannot afford total lockdown because people must eat.
“I want to place on record that Bauchi has closed all its borders and they will remain closed. If we have 20 cases in Kano, be sure we have to really man our borders to make sure no goods or persons come from Kano and nobody from your market goes to Kano,” he said.
“And of course, we too are not going to Gombe, Yobe, Jos, or Taraba; we should try to exist alone by ourselves.”