(Jeff Amechi Agbodo, ONITSHA)
Following the closing and ejection of fruits and vegetable traders at the Coca-Cola and Silas Works roads in Onitsha, Anambra state, some traders have relocated to Oko and Asaba in Delta state to continue their business.
The government task force on cleanliness (Ocha Brigade) had earlier shut the Coca-Cola market along Onitsha-Asaba expressway and has on Monday this week closed another fruit and vegetable market along Silas Works road over alleged environmental degradation and traffic congestion.
Women traders took to the roads and streets of Onitsha to protest the closing of the markets, saying that the government was insensitive to the plight of widows and other women selling at the markets who have been out of business for months.
Some traders in those markets angered with their ejection from the markets yesterday relocated to Oko and Asaba in Delta state, a five-minute drive from Onitsha, to continue their business, saying that Anambra, particularly Onitsha, was no more conducive for them to do business.
The government task force had told the traders to relocate to Kara market along Atani road, an offer the traders rejected on grounds that they were not safe due to the alleged cases of armed robbery and rape of women along the new market road.
Some of the women who spoke with our Correspondent said that since Anambra state refused to welcome them, Delta state has accepted them and given them land to conduct their business.
They said, “We have our families to feed. For the past three to four months now we have been out of business. We were at Coca-Cola market when they ejected us from the place. Some us went to Silas Works market. But they came there and shut the market. Should we die in hunger? On the alternative we decided to go to Delta and they accepted us and we are relocating there. As we are speaking now, maize (corn) and melon traders are already in Oko, while some are in Asaba offloading their business while the tomato traders are discussing to be given portion over there,”
“The government of Anambra state is insensitive to the plight of widows doing business in the state [in spite of] the revenue being generated from us. We pay all our levies but still they don’t want us here. Who is losing now, the revenue that is supposed to come to Anambra is going to Delta state and we are happy that nobody disturbs us here.” the woman stated.