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Onitsha traders seek compensation over demolished shops

The traders association at the Marine Ultra Modern Market, Onitsha, Anambra, has urged Governor Peter Obi to compensate traders whose shops were destroyed in the ongoing road re-construction along New Market Road in the city.

Mr Vincent Ifeme, Chairman of the association, made the appeal while speaking to NAN Wednesday in Onitsha.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, gathered that more than 150 shops were destroyed in the market to give way to the project.

Ifeme noted that the traders affected were allocated the shop spaces by the local government council and they paid “stallage fees and development levies to the government’’.

He said: “The market association commends Governor Obi for the road re-construction, which fulfills one of his campaign promises made to association last year.

“Governor Obi has the master plan of Onitsha, which shows that some of the shops might have gone beyond their boundaries, but we want him to consider giving those whose shops were destroyed some sort of compensation.

“Governor Obi, as a trader, would understand the type of predicament these traders are into and he should come to their aid on humanitarian ground since most of them are not the original allottees of the shops.’’

The chairman, however, debunked rumours in the market that he collected money to stop traders from protesting against the demolition.

“The state government, as the landlord of the state, cannot be stopped in its developmental efforts.

“The re-constructed road is of great benefit to majority of the traders, customers and people of Onitsha.

“All we have to do in regard to the compensation for some of our members is to appeal to those in authority and never to kick against their good intention,’’ he added.


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