Enugu Govt Sacks Ogige Market Traders To Build Bus Terminal

l R Deserted shops Last minute evacuation of goods

Thousands of traders and workers at the popular Ogige Market at the University of Nigeria community, Nsukka, were Tuesday seen hurriedly evacuating their goods out of the market to beat the 72 hours’ exit notice given to them by the state.

A majority of the shops at the market were locked while the ones opened were being cleared of goods by their owners.

“We were given 72 hours to leave,” a trader was heard complaining. “It was November this year that they earlier gave us. But this one is very sudden. Most of the shops locked are already empty.”

A woman, who was loading her wares in the mini truck when our correspondent visited, said, “This is the height of insensitivity of the government. This is happening when people are suffering. I paid the rent for my shop two weeks ago. I have lost much to this policy. They say they want to build a modern motor park. Just like that! We don’t have anybody to talk for us.”

A mobile phone repairer, Ignatius Mama, said the state government had however indicated interest to demolish some parts of the market even before Governor Mbah was elected.

He said, “We have not been properly resettled when this sack notice came. Many traders and workers in this Ogige may not survive the shock. I know of someone who has fallen sick since the sack notice came. This is a wrong way to treat Nsukka traders.”

The demolition also affected the Nsukka town branch of United Bank for Africa along Enugu road. Customers were not allowed to access the premises. Some workers of the bank were stationed by the gate to direct customers to go the bank’s branch located at UNN.

UBA branch closes operations

A peep into the premises revealed that property of the bank, such as chairs, computers, and other electronic gadgets had been evacuated outside. Also affected is the Nsukka park of Ifesinachi Transport Limited.

An official of the traders’ association, on condition of anonymity, said, “We don’t know when the bulldozers will come. I think it will be very soon. Those evacuating want to stop further losses should the bulldozers come. Earlier, security agents paraded around the market to inform us about their presence.”

None of the traders’ association’s executive members were found. It was gathered that they had gone to the location where they would resettle.

The traders have been circulating a notice among themselves for fast evacuation of their goods.

A part of the message read, “More than half of Ogige Market, Nsukka, is gone and will be demolished in the next 40 hours. It has been marked by the state government for demolition, and they gave 72 hours to relocate.

“The affected areas include the Old Park, phone accessories areas, Peace Mass Transit plaza, structures from Line A-E down to Alu Udele junction, all marked for demolition. If you like, call it fake news. Tell your people to remove all removable immediately.”

The state government, NewsNGR gathered, wants to build an ultra-modern bus interchange terminal at the affected areas.