‘Man must wack’ as early morning markets spring up in Rivers

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By Gladys Nweke

A street existed in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, known for decades as ‘Man Must Wack’, where anything goes and robbery was rampant. It was believed then that for people to fill the stomach, they would do anything. That kind of lifestyle was termed ‘Man Must Wack’.

Now, in the face of lockdown in Rivers and other states, most sellers and buyers now prefer to meet at night or in the early hours of the mourning at about 1am and dismiss before 6am. This is called morning markets. By the time task forces come out, buying and selling and crowding would have all taken place.

The Rumuokoro market in the state capital has become notorious for it and is now deemed a thing of concern to some residents in the town amidst the lockdown. The famous Oil Mil Market also has a thriving morning market.

There’s always a large gathering of traders at Rumuokoro slaughter every morning despite the lockdown regulations in the state.

Silver News monitored the market Saturday morning at Slaughter, Calabar and New Market inside the Rumuokoro Market and others to see the massive gathering of traders and buyers within the market.

According to reports, most market women came out to sell as early as 1am and disperse by about 6am every morning or 7 am when no single trader or buyer would be seen buying or selling in the market.

It appears people are not ready to trade the lockdown with their stomach any longer. Most persons interviewed said the buyers may be oblivious that one carrier of the virus can infect hundreds of others in the market. The hundred can infect thousands; and thousands can infect millions. “Nigeria is a ticking time bomb, people think the novel virus leading to global pandemic is sort of joke”, they noted.

Similar situation was witnessed in Kano State on Friday, April 24, 2020, as people were seen going about their normal businesses without observing social distancing.

When asked why they were not observing social distancing, they said that they don’t believe corona virus would come close to their tents, and that someone believed was what would come to the fellow.

Now, market women have called on the government to come to their aid because if they don’t buy and sell, they would not have anything to eat.