By Emma Elekwa, Onitsha
Traders at Nkwo Umunze in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State have protested the alleged plan to relocate their market to a yet-to-be-completed modern international market.
They alleged that the developer’s use security agents to harass and intimidate them, adding that such act might degenerate into chaos in the town if not checked.
The protesters, predominantly women, bore placards with varying inscriptions as “people’s shops were demolished without any compensation,” “the masses are suffering,” “our dear listening Governor Obiano please come to our aid, Ben Oranusi is using DPO Umunze to intimidate us,” among others.
They said they want the traditional market to co-exist with the modern market, stressing that such arrangements would yield more revenue to the government.
One of the protesters, Mr Izuu Nwankwo said it was the traders’ desire for more markets to spring up in the town in view of the level of development of the area.
Another protester, Ilechukwu Nduchekwe urged the developer to complete the structures and earthwork at the market.
A woman leader at the market, Mrs Alice Okeke wondered why they were being forced to relocate when the modern market was yet to be completed.
A former Chairman of the market, Mr Okey Nzebafor accused the developer of going contrary to the agreement reached among the market and town union leaderships and government representatives earlier in the year for the two markets to co-exist.
The developer, Mr Ben Oranusi denied forcing the traders to relocate, explaining that the relocation decision was to reduce accidents that had claimed lives, especially those trading along the road.
Our correspondent who visited the modern market observed that the level of work at the site could be said to be 40 per cent completed.
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