Traders Lament Market Demolition By Bayelsa State Govt

By Elizabeth Vincent

Traders and technicians in GSM village Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, have lamented and condemned the actions of the Bayelsa State government over the demolition of phone village in Tombia market.

The state task force on COVID-19 had claimed that the demolition was part of efforts to enforce social distancing, but traders who were the major casualty in the exercise claimed that the state government was targeting them with the goal of driving them away from doing business in the state.

The Chairman of Phone village in Bayelsa State, Mr William Eze, described the incident as the most destructive and sinister action they ever saw from any government in the state.

We have lost goods worth of millions of naira as a result of this demolition by the Bayelsa State government.

According to Eze, “We have been pleading with the succeeding governments in the state to relocate the market to a more convenient site, the present government behaved as if it was targeting the Igbo traders in the state.

“Most of the traders have been at home due to the lockdown ordered by the state government over COVID-19 pandemic but the state government still went ahead with the demolition exercise without prior notice.

He disclosed that they could not ascertain the amount of goods lost in the demolition, as all goods inside the shops were destroyed on the orders of the state government.

“This is the most sinister and destructive act we have ever seen in our lives. Government is adding salt to injury in this era of COVID-19.

“They said we should remain in the house as a result of lockdown and without pre-notice, they sent a taskforce to demolish our shops with goods inside; where have we gone wrong?”

The Coordinator of Ohanaeze Youth Wing in South South region, Chief Chinedu Arthur-Ugwa, who was at the scene to restore peace and orderliness, pleaded with affected traders to calm down, saying Igbo community in the state were engaging the government on the way forward.

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