Reporter : AMECHI ODO
Ebonyi State Government has commenced the demolition of Building Materials Market, Abakaliki following an eviction notice it issued to traders, which elapsed on Monday March 1, 2021.
Radio Nigeria observed that demolition caused chaotic situation at the market and adjourning streets as traders struggled to remove their wares and property.
The exercise also resulted in serious traffic congestion as many vehicles were trapped on Afikpo road while others made frantic efforts find alternative routes.
Radio Nigeria gathered that the Ebonyi State Government had issued at least five eviction notices to traders at Building Material Market Abakaliki since 2018.
However, the traders said they were surprised on getting to their shops early Monday morning to see that soldiers, police and Department of State Services (DSS) personnel had cordoned off the entire market with the state government subsequently moving in bulldozers to bring down their shops.
One of the traders noted that they were reluctant to relocate because stalls at the new Building Materials Market had not been completed by individual owners while basic facilities the state government promised to provide were yet to be put in place.
Reacting to the development, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, said the government had wanted to relocate the Building Materials Market alongside traders at the defunct Abakpa market but decided to allow them to construct a new Building Materials Market adjacent Timber Shade at Abakaliki-Afikpo Highway.
Dr. Ugbala said government commenced the demolition after traders repeatedly failed to comply with directives to move out of the Building materials since 2018.
He explained that the state government had offered to assist the traders in the provision of basic amenities to enable their businesses to thrive.
The SSG claimed that the state government relied on the request of the Market leaders, who said that the traders were ready to relocate.