The Kwara Fish Farmers Association, KWAFFA, has called on the State Government to exclude their members from the total lockdown order imposed on the state to continue to provide protein food to residents.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq directed for the lockdown effective from April 10 by 6 p.m till further notice to contain the spread of Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic in the state.
But the fish farmers and traders made the appeal in a statement on Friday in Ilorin by their acting Public Relations Officer, PRO, Ayo Onaeko.
Mr Onaeko said this has become imperative because the nature of their business warrants such exemption as fish ponds needs constant attention and if they do not get it in time it would impact negatively on them.
“We use this medium to solicit for the support of the state government on behalf of our members to allow for unhindered access to our various farms as we are also providing essential services from the agric sector,” he urged.
He said the lockdown would hit them hard because a good number of members would be having their livelihoods hang in the balance as the lockdown is coming during fish farming critical hours.
The association appealed to the governor to reconsider the order to save the fishing industry.
Mr Onaeko, however, commended the state government for its proactive measures against the spread of COVID-19 in the state and warned fishermen to adhere to the measures put by the government, saying it is for the good of all Kwarans.
“This COVID-19 pandemic is a global issue and it is affecting everybody, and it has become a must for all KWAFFA’s to follow the directives as had been issued by the state governor for our own good.
“The step taken are for our own good and collective wellbeing of all Kwarans irrespective of any affiliations or whatever you represent.”
He therefore enjoined the members to abide by these directives unconditionally “until the state government grants us the exemption we are demanding”.
NAN reports that the State Government, on Thursday, announced a total lockdown of vehicular, movement of people and all businesses from 6 p.m on Friday.
The restriction order however allowed banks, pharmacies and foodstuff traders to open for business only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between the hours of 10 a.m and 2 p.m.