Friday, January 10, 2020

Onitsha traders stage peaceful protest at State House against the 'forceful' relocation to Provisions and Cosmetics market

Article traders at Modebe Shopping Plaza, Madueke street Onitsha, Anambra state on Friday staged a peaceful protest at the state Government House against what they termed as forceful relocation to Provisions and Cosmetics market at Ogbunike. The protesters from Onitsha blocked the entrance to the government house demanding to see the governor who was said to be out of the country.

They demanded to see the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in the absence of the governor to present their complaints.

The traders carried placards with different inscriptions such as “Governor Obiano help us to open our shops, we don’t have shops at Ogbunike new market, please we are not provisions and cosmetics dealers, we are Article dealers, our lives are in danger, if government fail to do somethings now it will be tough for us, we are not against your site, please leave us alone”.

Other placards with inscription , “Governor save our souls, why is this multiple violations of court order, our case is in court, let provision and cosmetics dealers go to their market, 99 percent of us are petty traders, we don’t have money to rent shops elsewhere, we are not part of provision and cosmetics Union, this is January 2020 please, we are dying of hunger. Stop this intimidation and molestation”.

The spokesperson of the traders, Chief Herbert Iwuoha said that Taskforce from ministry of Commerce and trade, two days ago stormed the market to demolish illegal structures which he said traders were not against. He said the Taskforce insisted that the traders must relocate to the new provisions and cosmetics market at Ogbunike. He alleged that the Taskforce prevented them from having access to their shops even as touts and hoodlums break into the shops to loot.

“They went and blocked our shops with thugs, security agents and other government agents. They are there demolishing some structures, molesting and beating some of our members who entered into the plaza. Some traders are with wounds sustained from the thugs. They said that we must move to the new market where we didn’t build and the union we are not part of.

“We want governor to stop them and allow us to open our shops because this is January and we have to pay our children school fees, pay our house rent and other bills. We are not against demolition of illegal structures that blocked the roads. We do our business in a plaza and not on the street, so why stopping us from doing our business?” he added.

After sometime, security agent came to address the traders and took their leaders to the SSG office,the SSG Prof Solo Chukwudebelu after listening to their complaints referred them to the commissioner for commerce and trade for amicable resolution of the matter.