COVID-19: 12 ‘Water Peddlers’ On The Run In Benue After Leaving Kano

A photo showing the map of Benue, a state in North-Central Nigeria.
An image showing the map of Benue, a state in North-Central Nigeria.

At least eight ‘water peddlers’ are on the run in Benue after the government rounded up 12 others in an apartment in Makurdi, the state capital.

According to locals, the ‘water peddlers’, usually referred to as ‘Mai Ruwa’, had come into Makurdi within the last two weeks from Kano.

Kano is one of the most affected states as Nigeria battles to contain the novel coronavirus which has killed more than 250,000 across the world.

A resident of Wukari street, in the Wurukum axis of Makurdi, where the persons were found, Martins Dagbah, said the residents had to reach out to the government after another person came from Kano on Tuesday to join those on the ground.

According to Dagbah, the persons came into Benue as Mai’Ruwa (water retailers) and have been supplying water to residents within the community.

The water peddlers reportedly all sleep on the floor in a two-room apartment with no furniture.

Border Control Worries

Following the discovery, Benue state Deputy-Governor and Chairman of the state’s COVID-19 response team, Benson Abounu, said he was worried about the porous border control measures and asked the federal government to lock down the country to avoid a spike in COVID-19 infections.

“I think a total lockdown is probably the right thing to do,” he said. “The lockdown on inter-state travel is not happening.

“And the second case we had in Benue was from Kano. We cannot tolerate this.”

The Deputy-Governor said samples of the 12 persons will be collected and sent to Abuja.

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