Some traders along Archbishop A.K Obiefuna Retreat Centre Road at Awka, Anambra State, have resumed commercial activities after the demolition of their shops and batchers by the Awka City Town Development Authority, ACTDA, report Mercy Hill, Alexander Johnson Adejoh, Precious Ukeje and Adejumoke Alebiosu.
The traders who lamented the demolition of their shops without the intervention of the state government, described that act carried out by officers of ACTDA last February as unhealthy and dangerous for their operations and wellbeing.
Speaking to Fides, Mrs Mercy Nwaokocha, an indigene of Delta State, based in Awka, said the decision to resume trading at the demolished site was because she was young and did not want to lose the spirit of hustling.
Nwaokocha noted that in the space of three weeks that she could not trade owing to the restriction, her customers had been worried about her and kept calling to make orders for goods.
In her words; ‘You cannot ask people to stop their legal business because you claim they are trading on government land without making adequate provision to move the affected traders to another location. Where do you expect them to trade?
‘It was to our greatest shock when all the shops were demolished. We were however hopeful that the government was going to come up with an alternative plan for us but they didn’t.
‘Our complaints are very understandable. Some of us borrowed money to start up these businesses and we have a fixed date to repay the borrowed capital or face the wrath of the law which is what I am trying hard to avoid,’ she said.
Also speaking, a trader who pleaded anonymity stated that one Bishop still collected N16, 000, annually as rent fees from the traders at the market and that they agreed to stay and be paying an undisclosed amount of money to Post Primary School Service Commission, PPSSC.
Efforts to reach the ACTDA boss as at press time were abortive as he was not reachable.
Fides, however hopes to get his reaction soon.