ASO CHRON­I­CLE

Daily Trust - - ASO CHRONICLE -

“The whole place was empty, we did not even see cus­tomers as we used to be­fore, not even the ones that used to come and pa­tron­ize me,” she lamented.

On his part, Nwangwu Emeka, a wheel­bar­row pusher said he has not seen high pa­tron­age since the bomb blast.

Emeka was seen sit­ting on his wheel­bar­row ev­i­dently with no pa­tron­age and told Aso Chron­i­cle that he could only make money when “his cus­tomers” buy large goods that need to be taken by his wheel­bar­row to their ve­hi­cles. “But many peo­ple are afraid of com­ing to the mar­ket,” he lamented.

Some peo­ple at the mar­ket told our re­porters that the stiff se­cu­rity mea­sures put in place might have con­trib­uted to the dwin­dling for­tunes of the mar­ket.

“Be­fore now, traders sell across the road but since the ex­plo­sion last year, the se­cu­rity op­er­a­tives sent ev­ery­body pack­ing. Peo­ple have been pushed into the mar­ket,” Ali the as­sis­tant man­ager ex­plained.

How­ever, he said with the “push­ing into the mar­ket” the mar­ket is still not filled up un­like be­fore,

“This place is sup­posed to be filled but it is scanty. So you will agree with me that many peo­ple are scared of com­ing to the mar­ket,” he said.

He added that evic­tion of road­side traders must have forced some of them to move to Karu and other mar­kets.

“Some of them no longer come out since they have been de­nied their por­tion of land,” he added.

Bukola Akin­losotu, a cus­tomer said gov­ern­ment should look for a very good place to re­lo­cate the mar­ket, adding that cus­tomers will visit the mar­ket re­gard­less of where it is re­lo­cated.

Yo­hanna Musa, an­other res­i­dent seen at the mar­ket also said the mar­ket should be re­lo­cated and se­cu­rity be given ut­most pri­or­ity in the new lo­ca­tion.

But traders said they have been hear­ing about the re­lo­ca­tion plans with noth­ing fea­si­ble for some time now.

Amaka the chil­dren-cloth­ing trader said the re­lo­ca­tion plans have been on be­fore the bomb blasts, “but ever since the time they told us, we have not heard any­thing from them.”

She said she would pre­fer the mar­ket to be re­lo­cated, “So that our mind will be at rest.”

On the re­lo­ca­tion plan, Ali the mar­ket’s as­sis­tant man­ager said the plan has been there for a very long time, “that is gov­ern­ment, it can hap­pen at any time.”

He com­mended se­cu­rity agen­cies for the ef­forts to se­cure the mar­ket but said the best thing would be to re­lo­cate the mar­ket or fence it.

“If they can build a fence, fine. But there are other se­cu­rity mea­sures that can be put in place to boost res­i­dents’ con­fi­dence. The mil­i­tary check points are help­ing as­sist but there is a level it can help,” he said.

He gov­ern­ment’s

con­demned fire brigade ap­proach to se­cu­rity is­sues, “In Nige­ria you see that when things hap­pen that is when they put all th­ese things [me­tal de­tec­tors, bomb squad], later they then re­lax. That should not be, this is FCT, in­sur­gents don’t re­lax,” he said.

He said the gov­ern­ment also bears the brunt, as rev­enue gen­er­a­tion has dras­ti­cally de­creased be­cause, as he ex­plained, mar­ket rev­enues can­not be col­lected from traders in their houses when they could not get a place in the mar­ket.

“Se­cu­rity is in the hands of God, if it is your time noth­ing can stop it.” he ad­vised traders and res­i­dents.

How­ever, time would tell if that is enough guar­an­tee for Nyanya mar­ket to get its pal­ing soul back.

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