Traders lament alleged demolition of shops at Ebonyi international market


Thousands of traders and other shop owners, especially windows at Ebonyi State International market on Wednesday, lamented over the alleged illegal demolition of their shops by agents of government.

The traders who are majorly yam sellers located at lot two (2) of the market, decried incessant and regular extortion at the market.

One of the traders who spoke to Trumpet on condition of anonymity said the illegal demolition of their shops was done after the payment of over fifty thousand (N50,000) demanded from them by Governor’s Special Assistant on market development, Mrs Ngozi Obichukwu.

Another trader, a widow who also spoke with our reporter accused the governor’s aide of masterminding the demolition, stressing that it will increase the pain, hardship and suffering of their members.

The widow said that over two thousand traders paid fifty thousand (50,000) each for the allocation of the shops, which is currently been demolished on the alleged instructions of the governor’s aide.

The widow who narrated her ordeals in tears, appealed to governor David Umahi for immediate intervention, stressing that majority of their members collected huge amounts of loans from banks and other financial institutions to build the shops that are being demolished by government agents.

It was gathered that the about thousand (2,000) traders are forced by the governor’s aide to pay fifty naira (N50) every day, as tolls even after the initial payment of fifty thousand naira.

The chairperson of the Yam Dealers Association at Margaret Umahi International Market, Mrs Chinwe Umeh who spoke with Aljazirah Nigeria in Abakaliki, narrated that some of the traders collected huge loans from banks to erect the shops and many of them are yet to repay the loans to banks.

She stated that the money they paid for the allocation of the shops will expire by October and that Obichukwu didn’t give any prior information before the demolition of the shops.

Umeh added that the demolition had made many of their members suddenly develop high Blood pressure (BP) and sickness, and called for immediate intervention by the state governor, and prominent leaders of the state.

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She also applauded the governor for the numerous infrastructural facilities witnessed in the market, especially for bringing them out from their former shops, where yams worth millions of naira were destroyed by heat.

“We thanked the governor for bringing us out from our former shops where our yams worth millions of naira were destroyed by heat. We were happy about the allocation of these new shops. Our yams are no longer destroyed and we are comfortable here. But unfortunately, we saw some men who came and said that they were directed to demolish the shop, because, the shops defaced the international market standard. We need the intervention of the governor” she stressed.

Traders lament alleged demolition of shops at Ebonyi international market

In a swift reaction, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Market Development, Dr Ngozi Obichukwu, said the shops were demolished by the instructions of the governor, noting that they defaced the international market standard.

According to her: “whatever they are talking is their business, and I don’t support evil. I pitied them because the shops are not inside. They paid money to the government account and not me, the evidence is there.

“The reasons why the government are losing their shops was that they ahead to roof the shops and it is defacing the international market” she stated.

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