By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU—After about 15 years of negotiation on how to move to a more befitting permanent site, the Kenyatta Building Materials Market located along Kenyatta Street in Uwani- Enugu has been demolished by the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA), yesterday.
The permanent site for the market located at Ugwuaji, along the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway, has for three years been functional with most of the traders conducting transactions there but many of the traders remained adamant .
The bulldozers used for the demolition arrived early in the morning before traders arrived at the market and were forced to evacuate their goods chaotically, which they scattered along all the streets in Uwani with most of them confused about what to do.
Speaking at the scene of the demolition, the Chairman of ECTDA, Denge Josef Onoh blamed the leaders of the market for their inability to convince the traders to vacate the street market and move over to the better-planned permanent site .
Onoh said that the exercise was a development control measure due to the congestion of the city. He also noted that the area where the traders converted into a market was originally a place given to the National Youth Council of Nigeria.
recreational activities, but as you can see there is no recreation here. In 1989, they applied for adjustment, an amendment in the purpose clause which said commercial but the commercial activity was supposed to be for the benefit of the council such as a conference hall which they didn’t do but embarked on sale of every single part of the land demised unto them thereby abusing the purpose clause for which this land was demised,” Onoh said.
Chairman of Kenyetta Market Traders Association, Hon. Chinweuba Igwesi said there have been several relocation notices for the building materials dealers which some traders in the market failed to comply with, expressing sadness that relocation lingered.
“We advised them, some heed to it but others did not. Spaces for shops were given at discounted rates then but many of them did not take it seriously. Sensitization was done by leaders of the market which made some buy theirs at Ugwuaji but others refused. Some of them said that the relocation will not work. Some moved to that place but after some time without government enforcement, they came back.
“These notices have been served for over three years and I thank the Governor of Enugu state but some traders deceived their colleagues into believing that there will be no enforcement. Those who have already relocated to Ugwuaji are giving testimonies of the economic viabilities of the place and cannot wish to come back here,” Igwesi said.