Aba traders raise alarm over plan to demolish shops in Ahia Ohuru
…Hoisting of telecommunication mast in the market
Traders at the Ngwa Road market (Ahia-Ohuru) Aba, Abia State have called the attention of the state government over the planned demolition of some shops in the market by the State Ministry of Trade and Investment.
They have also raised the alarm over the hoisting of a telecommunication mast inside the market, describing it as unhealthy and dangerous to their health.
Titus Chimezie, chairman of Ahia-Ohuru Market stakeholders, explained that the traders never agreed on the proposed demolition, as erroneously announced by the state radio.
He said the market chairman and some officials of the State Government informed them of their plan to demolish and rebuild some parts of the market, a proposal they (the traders) rejected because they believe that the shops are still in good condition.
He, however, said that the traders were willing to fund the renovation of any building in the market that has defects, as the shops were funded by them.
Chimezie described as shocking when they heard the announcement on the radio that all the traders in the Ngwa Road market had agreed that their shops should be demolished for renovation.
“We decided to use this medium to please remind them that on no occasion did we ever agree that they should come and demolish our shops. We are not fighting Government. Our complaints are understandable. These shops were built by some of our parents and old traders here. Aba South Local Government Area is still owing them several millions of naira, which they expended in constructing these shops,” the market chairman said.
He said that inasmuch as they own the shops at the market, the Trade and Investment Ministry of the state still collect N3,300 every year from them for revalidation. In 2020, they collected N4,800 for the same revalidation, and we are not complaining. We are suffering alone without help. The COVID-19 pandemic is still here with us, which has crippled the economy. We are battling to pay school fees of our children, house rent, as well as put food on our tables, and they want to demolish the shops. So many people are sick and can’t even feed their families, due to hardship,” he lamented.
Chukwuemeka Ibezim, another stakeholder in the market, who also expressed shock over the hoisting of the mast, urged the State Government to intervene and ensure that the mast is removed in the interest of traders and their patrons.