Some of the traders in Ebonyi state, especially those who ply their trade within Abakpa market are at the moment anything but happy. One could see their fallen shoulders, the pain in their eyes and the pyramid of wrinkles that hang on their faces. With the dawn of the 1st of March, being the official date for their relocation to the new ultra modern market built by the state. One could see some of them hauling their wares back home, especially those who could not afford the new shops, as the market is being cordoned by security men. It’s indeed a painful sight to behold, as some of them left the market greatly crestfallen.
Though this a critical time and a seemingly hard decision to have been made by the state government, but the truth is that the traders saw it coming. But that should not in the least make the government less sympathetic to their plight. Ostensibly it appears the relocation is seen to be in the best interest of the traders.
But it is not enough asking them to leave, how ready is the place they are moving into; are the shops duly allocated to those who paid for them, or are they given to outside hands, who were never traders or traded in the Abakpa market. That would be a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. One who has had his ears to the ground would glean from the dissenting voices of some of the marketers, that things are not going as was earlier agreed.
As some of them lamented that shops in the new market are already hijacked by unknown people. If this has any tinge of truism in it, then in all fairness, the state has to go back and do her homework. For there is no need asking them to relocate if adequate preparations has not been made or if the shops are not duly allocated
Recently the state government banned roadside kiosks, most of whose were attached to buildings; this is probably to tighten loose ends for those who wouldn’t want to leave for the international market and probably for safety. But these road side kiosks are very essential for streets, for they more often than not, come handy in the providing of minor but necessary needs. The government of course has its reasons but then, it is not too late for the government to rescind on its decision, concerning the ban of some kiosks in the state especially along Ogoja road. This will go a long way in helping those who are still financially incapacitated to move over to the new market and would serve as a kind of asylum for them. Many depend on some of these kiosks in order to survive, else they become totally unemployed. For some others it is the only means of survival for them, banning kiosks then would be almost a deliberate attempt to starve some who are sustained by it.
It is a thing of joy that in terms of infrastructures, Ebonyi is consistently on the rise, but the masses are happier not merely based on the deluge of towering structures, but that they have something to eat. So even as the government is making so much effort, prudence and compassion should not lose their wings in the course of making the state better.
When it comes to matters like this, it is always really hard not to gore the oxen of some. But no matter how hard it becomes those affected should not take it too hard, for this too shall pass, what does not break us makes us stronger. Hunger they say does not kill he whose God has kept. The government on its own part should endeavour to make sure that all concerning the relocation are enmeshed in the bowels of equity and fairness by giving everyone their due. So that even when the people are hurt by their decisions, won’t be so hurt knowing that all was done in good conscience and in the light of justice. This too shall pass.