Nigerians speaking truth being persecuted – Obi hails Abaribe

Ebonyi State Government led by Governor David Umahi, on Monday, has commenced demolition of one of the major markets in the south east geopolitical zone, popularly called ‘Abakaliki Building Materials’.

It was gathered that soldiers had at the early hours of Monday condoned the market and mandated the traders to pack out with immediate effect.

DAILY POST learnt that the traders had been severally urged by the state government to pack out but they were allegedly slow to comply with the government directives.

In a visit to the building materials market, many traders were seen running helter skelter trying to pack out their goods while government officials were busy demolishing some of the shops.

Soldiers and other security agencies were stationed in strategic locations of the market to guide against invasion of hoodlums and robbers to cart away goods belonging to the traders.

Speaking with some of the affected traders, Mr. Obasi Chukwudi said that the state government gave them to 31 of March, 2021 as deadline to pack out from the market but never expected forceful eviction.

He expressed dismay that the new site that is located along Abakaliki/ Afikpo Federal road beside timber shield is not yet completed.

“Government gave us order to pack out of this place to the new site but we didn’t know it was urgent because we thought they would give us more time to prepare ourselves.

“They gave us 1st March, 2021 and we thought they would give us an extension of one week.

“Secondly, the new site has no wall nor security, even the building has not been completed. It will not only affect us alone but our families. Government should give us one week.”

Another victim, Mr. Okwudiri Uche, who narrated his ideals, said they took them unaware because they never knew that the government led by David Umahi will start the demolition of their shops on 1st of March and, however, pleaded for an extension.

“We came to the market this morning only to see that security agencies had blocked the entrance of the market and stopped our movement and business transactions. We never knew that the government would start demolition today, being 1st March. My shop has been demolished. Government should give us more time to finish the new site,” he noted.

Also, Mrs. Eze Ugwu stated, “Our condition is so terrible, we never expected this kind of thing because we have been asking the government since to give us time. Nothing has been done in the new site. We all see how COVID-19 affected our businesses.

“Somebody that has 7children and you pursue her, what did you expect her to do? How did you expect the condition of somebody who ran from the Northern region to Ebonyi to do? Now, they said nobody should stay on the street nor on the road to trade, that means they want us to die,” she lamented.

However, another victim who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the state government officials were extorting N20,000 naira from each of the traders for staying beyond government stipulated time.

In a swift reaction, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, said he is not aware of any extortion, “I am not aware of the extortion but I will call them on phone now,” he said.

He further stated that: “The purpose to relocate the traders to the new site was to decongest the capital city which has been beautified by the state government led by Chief David Umahi,” he noted.