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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Traders Commend Obiano On Demolition Of Illegal Structures In Onitsha

The on-going demolition of illegal structures in and around markets, in Onitsha, the commercial nerve centre of Anambra State, has received the commendation of traders in the state who have urged Governor Willie Obiano to ensure full completion of the operation.

Speaking on behalf of shade owners in Onitsha markets, the former Chairman of Onitsha Main Market Traders Union (OMMATU) and former Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA) respectively, Chief Sylvester Odife said the demolition of illegal structures was one of the greatest things the Obiano’s government had done.

He said that those who erected illegal structures along the roads to the market had caused grave danger to business in the markets, as they made entrance to the markets impossible thereby scaring away customers from the market.

Odife therefore appealed to the Governor to go ahead with the demolition and not to listen to any call for him to soft pedal.

He said, “On behalf of shade owners in Onitsha market, I want to thank the Governor on this demolition of illegal structures he is doing in Onitsha, it is one of the most giant stride we have seen in Anambra state. No Governor has ever tried it to this level, so we are commending him and pray that he will not look back.

“This is because the Main Market is sinking, many people have abandoned their shades, sublet their shades and moved to the streets, Sokoto Road, Bida Road, Bright Street blocking the way, because they believed that through the illegal structures blocking the roads that they will make much sales. We have up to 900 lockup shops in the Main Market that have been abandoned by their owners who then erected the illegal structures.

“We want to commend the Governor and those he sent on the job of demolition of the illegal structures because they are doing a very good job. They have demolished all the illegal structures, cleared the roads in Old Market Road, Ose Market, Johnson Street and Bright Street point of Main Market but there is still job to do there.

“They need to come there and consolidate the job they did there, entrance of Main Market through Sokoto Road, they have done some clearing there but they need to come back and consolidate that place, same as Johnson Street and Bright Street of Main Market.

“We want Governor Obiano to know that all good and well meaning traders and business men and women in the market are solidly behind him in this operation and it is our prayer that he does not look back no matter the influence of the perpetrators of congestions on the roads to the market.

“He should not listen to anyone suggesting he mellow down on the operation. Whoever that is making any complaint on the demolition is one of those blocking the road and building illegal structures and should be treated as such. Traders are hailing him and we shall be happy if he maintains the tempo and would like him to keep a monitoring team there to ensure that those sacked from the roads did not return there.

“If this is done traders will be happy and will pay their stallage fees and other approved levies, if he sustains this thing he is doing, the fees and levies we were paying before, we were paying with tears because we were not selling anything. He should also direct the local government chairmen to ensure that they do not build illegal structures or block roads.

By Geoffrey Anyanwu

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