Market demolition: Onitsha traders protest forceful ejection

ON Thursday, scores of traders at Modebe Shopping Plaza, Madueke street, in Onitsha, Anambra state, marched to the government statehouse to protest demolition and forceful ejection from the market.

The Nation reports that joint security forces including Army, Police, civil defense and vigilante group all demolished the market site while the traders were away on Christmas.

The traders were then instructed to relocate to another market called Provisions and Cosmetics market located at Ogbunike in Oyi local government area of the state, but they refused.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, a Chief Herbert Iwuoha, criticized the directive asking the traders to relocate to a new market because they contributed to the development of the market and couldn’t go where they didn’t build.

“They said we must move to the new market where we didn’t build and the union we are not part of,”  Iwuoha said.

Iwuoha alleged that some of the traders were beaten and wounded as thugs destroyed and stole their goods.



    “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 us who entered into the plaza.”

    Iwuoha appealed to Governor Willie Obiano to stop the demolition exercise. “He should allow us to open our shops because this is January and we have our children school fees to pay as well as our house rent and other bills.”

    But there is no official statement from the governor at the time of filing this report.

    However, the Nation reports that the traders were directed by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu to meet the Commissioner for Commerce and Trade for resolution.

    Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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