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Nsukka Task Force Allegedly Ruins Traders’ Goods At Ogige Market

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Some trader’s wares and shops along Enugu road, Nsukka have been ruined by Nsukka Local Government Taskforce in a bid to decongest the road in what was described as a “cleanup exercise”.

The activity which took place at the Ogige market axis of the road, on May 2, spanning from slaughter road down to University market road had the traders crying out as their goods were either vandalized, seized or scattered.

Members of the Taskforce removed wooden and metal bridges that connected the road to  shops so a to compel the traders to sweep the drainages and tidy up the front of their shops.

Different reactions from the traders have trailed the exercise. Commenting on the activity of the Taskforce, Otubo Chimaijem, a carpenter who works along the University market road said that the taskforce earlier informed the people who had their wares on the road to remove them.

A vandalised carpenter’s shop

According to him, “they said the day they would come, there’d be no mercy. I don’t know if they fixed a time they’d come but all I know is that they said everyone should take everything that is along the main road out. They gave the information last week but they didn’t give a particular date. I think the information was given on either Friday or Saturday.”

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In an opposing view, Owelle Emeka, a customer said the cleanup would be commendable if the traders were given prior notice, as most of the traffic congestion on that road were caused by the erring traders.

“This type of thing you give notice because all these things the traders sell were bought with money. When the deadline comes and the traders have done nothing about the pre-information, you now start using force. Some traders here said they don’t know. You don’t just start applying force on the people. It is abuse of power,” he said.

Similarly, Mohammed Aliru, a jewellery seller expressed his dislike over the activity while he helped out in cleaning the gutters.  He stated that the members of the Taskforce were wrong  in carrying out their duties in that manner. Aliru revealing that he sells jewelries said he didn’t come with his goods to the market on that day with his wares, but to visit. He however pitied the affected people and lamented, “They seized some people’s goods and they’re taking it to the local government.”

A defaced bread seller’s shop at University market road.

Chairman of the taskforce, Mr. Kelechi Ezema reacting to the activity denied destroying the traders goods and not giving prior information.  He said, “ If we leave the goods for them, they’d keep on bringing it out to the road. So, that is the essence of the plan. We’re not interrupting, besides, we informed everybody. We informed heads of departments including the Keke people. So, they’re aware and you can see that we’re not violent in this work, he said.

He mentioned  that the taskforce only came to clean Nsukka and clear anything that was blocking the road and the drainages, stating,  “All the roads that is passing through Nsukka should be cleared.”

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