Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa state has appealed to traders in Lafia central market to remain calm and resolute in the ongoing rift over the planned relocation of traders in the market, the Special Assistant to the Governor on media and Publicity, Ahmed Tukur while reacting on the peaceful protest maintained that the state Government has good motive for the relocation.
The spokesman for the Governor gave the hint while fielding questions from Journalists in his office; he said the relocation became necessary so as to decongest the market, which was situated in the heart of the state capital. He further opined that the relocation was to avoid any outbreak of the inferno.
The relocation would ensure the free-flow of traffic in the city centre, “Government has no ill-motive over the relocation of traders; Commenting on the absence of an alternative space for the estranged traders, The SA affirmed that the State Government is working assiduously for the completion of Lafia International market located at Kwandare.
“The International market is at the moment 65-70 percent completion, The State Government while reacting on the quit notice given to traders to relocate, the spokesman debunked the one week notice as speculated by the traders.
The SA said the issues were carried over from last year, Speaking on the allocation of shops to politicians and other group less than traders, The SA said Government is on top of the situation, Adding that a statement would be issued to that effect.
Lafia central, a market which housed over 3000 shops excluding shanties were under lock and key while tight security including soldiers, Police and men of the Nigeria Security And Civil Defense Corps were stationed on the premises of the market.
Traders and Youths within the market were seen chanting “Bamayi” while others demands for compensation before relocation, Usman Shittu, Chairman of Youth Concerned Group of Lafia Central Market while addressing Journalist pleaded with the state Government to temper justice by making provision before relocation.
“Our only source of livelihood is this market and where do we go from here? Also speaking Mr. Ugochukwu called on the State Government to provide an alternative to traders.
“In the old market we have almost 6000 shops not like the new Lafia market with only 1000 shops which is not enough for shop owners.