“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.
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.