Enugu park traders seek relocation two years after their shops were demolished
The immediate past administration of Sullivan Chime had in September 2013 evacuated and demolished 890 shops at the Old Park Market to make way for the building of a multi-storey lock-up shopping mall and parking lot by a firm, EasyPark Services.
Although the government had promised to relocate the affected traders then, the traders claimed yesterday that they had neither been
relocated nor compensated for the act.
Chief Patron of the Old Park Traders Association (OPTA), Comrade Joseph Ahara, who spoke on behalf of the affected traders, stated that they made several appeals for the past government to address the issue to no avail.
He said that they were duly allocated the shops by the Enugu North Local Council and had lived up to their responsibilities to both the state and council, alleging that government embarked on the demolition exercise without due process.
“There was an existing court order which we obtained against the intended action of government and upon the order, government went ahead and demolished the shops, sacking over 1000 traders who are still roaming the streets till today. They asked us to go to the new market area but did not provide space for us there.”
“Till today, our members are still loitering here and there. Some have died out of frustration. Some can no longer send their children to school because they don’t have the money. We are appealing to the state government to please find ways of relocating and compensating us for this damage on our source of livelihood,” he said.
Ahara stated that many of the traders who secured loans from individuals, finance houses and banks to do their businesses when the notice for demolition of the Old Park Market was given by the former administration, are still battling to repay the money borrowed, adding that some had already renewed their tenancy before the unfortunate development.
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