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Protesting Onitsha traders accuse Obiano’s govt of erecting new shops on old, weak buildings

The protesters accused the market leadership of conniving with government agents to construct new shops on old and weak buildings in the area.

• February 4, 2022
Anambra Willie Obiano (Credit: Twitter)
Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano (Credit: Twitter)

Protesters from the Ochanja Central Market in Onitsha, Anambra, on Friday, barricaded the headquarters of the state Physical Planning Board in Amawbia, and the entrance of the Government House, to protest against the construction of shops at a section of the market.

Addressing journalists, the leader of the protesters, Gabriel Okwuneme, accused the market leadership of conniving with some government agents to construct additional shops on top of old and weak buildings in the area.

“We are in Awka to protest illegal construction of shops at Ochanja Central Market. The market has only one floor and the leadership is trying to build shops on its top,” Mr Okwuneme said.

He appealed to Governor Willie Obiano to intervene to avert building collapse that could lead to the loss of lives and properties in the market.

“We are calling on the state government to order the suspension of the construction work because it poses serious threat to our lives as well as our means of livelihood,” he said.

In his reaction, Chike Maduekwe, the managing director, Physical Planning Board, appealed for calm while assuring the placard-carrying protesters that their complaints would be attended to.

“We will meet with all concerned stakeholders, including the traders next week, to resolve the matter,” Mr Maduekwe said.

Some of the placards displayed read: “Save our lives now at Ochanja Central Market,” “Gov. Willie Obiano; Physical Planning Board why are you people keeping quiet?” and “Ochanja Central Market is not for sale.”


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