–As Council Chair Invites Them For Dialogue
By Daniel Dafe
Traders in Abraka main market along the express, yesterday threw caution to the wind, as they blocked a section of the Agbor-Sapele express way in Abraka and prevented vehicles from coming into the community and going out of the community through that route.
This action, we gathered was their reaction to the relocation order by the council Chairman, Chief Faith Majemite.
For over 30 minutes there was a gridlock on the said route, as protesters numbering over 100 carrying placards that read “No Market, No Road,” “Faith Majemite Live Abraka Market Traders Alone” chanted songs to express their displeasure.
It took the intelligence of the Divisional Police Officer in Abraka, CSP Hassan Issah, to pacify the protesters who eventually removed the barricades they had placed on the road and then honoured an invitation by the DPO to the premises of the police station for a strategic meeting to chart the way forward.
At the time of filing this report, Oasis Magazine (OM) can authoritatively report that a meeting of the traders, market officials from the council area and the Chairman will hold today at Isiokolo.
Speaking to OM during an exclusive chat, the leader of the traders’ union in the market, Mrs. Edith Emebradu, said two weeks ago the market officials from the council called us for a meeting. They collect money from us on a daily basis. I was shocked to see today that some of my goods have been destroyed just like others. We got angry and started this protest.
“They want us to leave here so they can give same small little space to others for as high as N10, 000. This is oppression. We wanted to board vehicles when they told us that the Chairman was in Asaba for a function. So, we had no other option than to protest.
A trader who deals on fairly used clothes in the market spoke with OM under conditions of anonymity.
According to her, “in April, 2019, Faith Majemite sent people to demolish a part of the market. This, she said left many of them the option of selling under the sun.
She said: “This protest is to get the attention of the Governor. It is not only Abraka market that is in Ethiope East. Where she asked us to relocate to now is waterlogged. But, if the state government decides to build a market for us then we would not mind relocating.”
Meanwhile, in a phone conversation, Majemite said that the decision by the council to relocate the traders was for their safety.