By Ruth Oginyi
Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi on Tuesday said that movement from Abakpa Market by the traders to the newly constructed international market along Tran-Saharan Highway in the state capital is sacrosanct.
Umahi said by 1st of March, 2020, every trader in Abakpa Market would be seen in the international market engaging in buying and selling and that those who don’t have money to buy or rent a shop should pack to their houses.
According to him, the deadline for the relocation has been shifted for more than two times to enable the traders adequately prepare for the relocation and for government to provide facilities in the market.
It was gathered that over hundred Abakpa Market traders have not gotten shop at the international market but the governor has promised to provide shops for them even as he said that even the shops he bought for his wife and that of the wife of his deputy should be allotted to the traders if need be.
Umahi said from 1st April payment for the market maintenance will start and committee will be set up to man the maintenance fee.
Addressing women traders and their leaders during meeting with them at
old Governor’s Lodge, Abakaliki, the Governor assured them he would ensure they all get shops and move into the market.
He further told them that they must buy the shops if they have the money or rent them if they don’t have money to buy them and that it if they don’t want to do any of the two things, they will neither enter the international market nor continue staying in the main market for their buying and selling.
He promised to offer land free to women traders who are willing to construct their own shops in the International Market if the available shops in the market couldn’t get to them and that the shop must be in international standard and must be completed in six months time.
“The movement to the International Market latest by 1st of March is sacrosanct and nothing can remove it. From 2nd, no marketing activities must take place at Abakpa. On 29th February, there will be no marketing activities. It will be used to clean that Abakpa and then the new market. No market shall open in that Abakpa and no movement from that day onwards. The movement is to move your things to the International market if you have not moved”, he told the traders.
Leader of the market women, Margaret Nomeh thanked the Governor for accepting to give them land to build their own shop in the market.
Meanwhile, a widow who was among the traders that attended the meeting told the Governor that her husband left shop for her at Abakpa and that was where she was generating money to take care of her children and appealed that she should be considered in allotting the shops as she can’t afford to buy or rent a shop but the Governor in a swift response asked the woman to go and beg CAN to buy shop for her at the International Market.
Many of the traders, especially widows were seen crying while leaving the Government House shortly after the meeting.