#BounceExclusive: Traders, Sex Workers Decry Demolition Of Abakaliki Market
The regional market located at Spera-In-Deo junction was a beehive of activities for both traders and sex workers.
But the Ebonyi State government has demolished the market with a view to giving the state capital a facelift.
The regional market is now a shadow of itself. The state government had directed the demolition of the shanties, which has turned the place to a slum.
Bounce News gathered that the demolition has paralyzed business activities, and the prostitutes were seen loitering outside without a place to be patronised.
In a chat with some of the traders, they condemned the demolition, alleging that they were not duly informed before the pulling down of the structures.
One of the traders, Jimoh Abu, who spoke to Bounce News, alleged that the state government never gave them prior notice to quit.
“I have a beer palour and other shops and provision shops here.
“For me, the demolition of the regional market is uncalled for.
“They did not give us quit notice.
“Where are we going to pack our goods to? They did not make provision for that.
“We are helpless and handicap because anywhere we take our goods to, we are rejected.
“The government told us to submit our documents, that is, if you have a shop here. We were asked to submit it to the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey which we did.
“They also promised to call us for a general meeting, but they did not. The Commissioner for Works, Engineer Fidelis Nweze said he was going to call for a meeting, but he did not do that.
“I wish they give us till January to enable us relocate to another place, it could have been a different ball game. But, they took our documents without compensation. It is bad.
“We are losing millions of naira. We have over two hundred shops being destroyed.
“Each shop cost N60,000 per annum. If you calculate it, you will see that it is running into millions of naira. Look at everybody; we have no place to go now,” Jimoh cried out.
Another trader who deals on liquor and gave her name simply as Maureen said she was stranded and appealed for assistance from the state government.
“I am very, very stranded. I do not have anywhere and place to go. You can see that I am confused and stranded. I have lost so much money.
“The state government should have sympathy on us and provide us a place to stay before the reconstruction of the market. They should find us a place to stay,” she appealed.
Ebonyi State Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Survey, Professor John Eke, said the decision was taken by the state government to uplift the infrastructures of the state.
According to him, the traders agreed with government on demolition and reconstruction of the market without state involvement.
“We are uplifting the standard of infrastructure of the state. The government met with the traders in the park and landlords of their shops.
“We held several meetings with them. They pleaded with the government that they should be allowed to reconstruct the market,” he stated.
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