The Abia state government has vowed that its campaign to rid markets in the state of illegal structures will continue indefinitely until those who are responsible for raising them retrace their steps and obey government’s directives.
The resolve which is coming days after the demolition of what it says are illegal structures at the Enyimba axis of Ariara international market, was made known by the commissioner for trade and investment, Cosmos Ndukwe in an exclusive chat with Magic FM.
He said it was sad that Abians find joy in disobeying directives aimed at protecting them from both environmental and emotional disasters, stressing that the structures affected in the demolition exercise were literally built 50 meters from the highway.
The Abia trade and investment boss maintained that traders were happy with the demolition exercise as it has helped to curb unhealthy competition in Ariaria Market, insisting that the safety of traders was the motivating factor for embarking on freeing the express road.
Meanwhile, some traders who spoke to Magic FM expressed mixed feelings. A Trader, Ekene Hillary said the government’s action was by and large illegal as only shanties and not their plazas were obstructing the highway. Another trader, Benson Ikokwu lamented that the exercise was executed in bad faith.
However, investigation by Magic FM reveals that road side trading and structures left over 1,500 shops under keys inside Ariaria international market even after the government pledged to subsidize shop rents for those willing to relocate into the market.