Aba traders decry demolition of shops, urge Abia Assembly to intervene


File photo of Ngwa market, Aba, Abia state

By Ugochukwu Alaribe, Umuahia

Traders at the Ngwa Road Market, Aba, Abia State, have decried the action of a construction company in demolishing parts of the market and called for intervention from the State’s House of Assembly.

Narrating the ordeal of the traders, one of their leaders, who simply gave his name as Ngene, said sometime ago, traders in the market were given notices that a construction firm, Messrs Peacock Urban Regeneration Limited would demolish and rebuild stalls in the market.

Ngene said that no formal discussions were held between officials of the firm and the traders, but instead the company a fortnight ago, told the traders that the demolition of the stalls would commence by the end of May.

Not satisfied with the arrangement, traders took the matter to the State House of Assembly.

He said, unfortunately, officials of the company failed to show up at the Assembly premises which made members of the House to reschedule their meeting for June 2; while admonishing the company to stay action on the demolition until after the meeting.

Ngene stated that instead of waiting for the outcome of the meeting as directed by the House, the company surprisingly, on Sunday, when people had gone to church, went in and demolished parts of the market.

The traders are lamenting that they used their money to rebuilt the market and had an understanding with the authorities of Aba South council that the traders would recoup their money through stallage fee payment.

He disclosed that the traders were yet to recoup their money before the current development.

The traders further lamented that the Good Market where they were asked to relocate to, cannot accommodate a quarter of the affected traders and has serious security Challenges.

They called on the House of Assembly to intervene to prevent the company from subjecting them to further displacement and hardship.