Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, on Friday suspended five of his special assistants managing Margaret Umahi International Market Abakaliki, over non-compliance with the COVID-19 safety protocols at the market.
The five SAs were recently appointed to enforce compliance with COVID-19 protocols in the market.
The governor, who visited the market on Friday afternoon, was enraged when he noticed that most of the people at the market were not putting on face masks.
The governor also discovered that the five aides were not on duty at the market.
The governor had suspended two auditor-generals and the state coordinator of FADAMA III recently.
Secretary to the State Government, Kenneth Ugbala, in a statement said the governor directed the affected aides to hand over their official vehicles.
It was gathered that those suspended were Jacinta Nworie, SA in charge of lot 5 of the market; Kirian Ofoke, SA on Lot 2; Philip Eworo, SA on Lot 4; Francisca Okeke, SA on Lot 1; and Chukwuma Ofoke, SA on Lot 3.
The statement read in part, “The Executive Governor of Ebonyi State has noted with sadness, during his afternoon inspection at the Margret Umahi International Market Abakaliki, that 99 per cent of the market people did not wear face masks and the five Special Assistants to the Governor on Markets were not seen on site.
“The governor has, therefore, placed the five special assistants on market on an indefinite suspension effective from Wednesday, July 15, 2020.
“They are to hand over their official vehicles immediately to the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner.”
Ugbala said the governor threatened to shut down the market if the traders continued to violate the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s protocol on COVID-19.