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COVID-19: Traders beaten black and blue over price hike in Edo

Ademola Adeshina

Garri sellers at Oregbeni Market in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State got more than they bargained for, on Thursday, as protesting buyers pounced on them over hike in price of the commodity.

It was reliably gathered that they were beaten and forced to reduce the cost of the garri which had been increased by over one hundred per cent above the normal price.

It was learnt that before the partial lockdown imposed by Edo State government as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, the price of garri was originally N1, 600 per plastic but rose to N2, 800 while a bag which was N8000 before now rose to between N12,000 and N15,000.

Also increased is price of food by road side canteens. Plate of food which normally sold for N100 rose to N150.

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The atmosphere became tensed as more customers in the market gathered to protest the price hike.

It was further gathered that outbreak of violence in the market subsequently forced the market women association to immediately met and reversed the prices of all the food items to the old prices.

Residents who witnessed the incident said it was unfair on the part of the market women to increase the cost of food items knowing that people could not go to work again because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to a resident, a lot of people were happy by the action of the youths which resulted in the reversal of prices of food items.