Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Markets in Onitsha, Anambra State are now a beehive as buyers flood the facilities to make last minute purchase for the Christmas.
The rush our correspondent gathered was because major markets in the city would be closed on Monday to reopen next year. Buyers were seen trooping to the markets to make last-minute purchases in order to beat the deadline for the closure of markets.
The situation has caused serious gridlocks in Onitsha as all major roads in the city were blocked despite efforts by the police and other state and local government traffic management agencies to ease the congestion.
But the traders who spoke with our reporter complained of low patronage despite the presence of many buyers at the market, with some saying that only few buyers came to buy reasonable goods while others were picking just few goods.
Mr. Onyeka Nwozor disclosed that not all the customers rushing into the market were genuine buyers but thieves who came to steal people’s money and goods; he warned buyers to guard their money and goods.
“It has been like this every year; you will see people struggling in the market without buying anything; some are thieves while others come to buy just one or two items. The main people who buy our goods don’t come to the market at this time; they were here earlier; some of them even call on us to ware-bill their goods to them.”
Another trader, Obinna Madu, lamented that the down turn in the economy had affected their sales this season as many customers could not come to the market because they had no money.
“We are not selling anything; don’t let these people flocking to the market deceive you; some only come here to pick one item; they are not wholesale buyers.
“We did not increase the price of goods because we know there is no money anywhere in this country at the moment.
“So, we are merely selling at near-cost prices just to maintain our customers and to ensure that we remain in business.
“Some people have even closed their shops because of low patronage and lack of money to continue in business,” Madu lamented.