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Anxiety Over Planned Demolition Of Onitsha Market Gates




By Alphonsus Nweze

There is wide-spread anxiety at the Bridgehead Market in Onitsha, over rumours of imminent demolition of its main entry/exit gate.

The anxiety centres on not only the sheer waste the planned demolition of the N10million gate would amount to, but also the associated security risk of leaving such a multi-billion market unsecured.


When our correspondent, in company of other newsmen visited the market, there were palpable anxiety on the faces of the traders as they clustered together, discussing the development

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One of them who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the Transition  chairman of Onitsha South Local Government Area Mr. Emeka Orji,  had completed plans to bring down the gates.


Our source said that the incumbent Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Market, Chinedu Ezekwike,  had   been served a demolition notice.

Traders who responded to enquries on the issue, said that there was no genuine reason to pull down the two gates that cost almost N10m to build , order than that the place  was initially earmarked for road.

They argued that even if there was no alternative, since the road passed through the centre of the market, that street traders who normally cluster there, could be evacuated at day, whereas at dusk, the gates could be locked for security reasons.


The traders also added that the security situation in the State had made it imperative that the gates be not pulled down.

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Even Governor Chukwuma Soludo would be distressed should the gates be pulled down and then robbers exploit the advantage.


They are now depending on the governor to prevail on the chairman of Onitsha South Local Government Area to stop the planned demolition.

Efforts made to speak to the chairman of the market failed as he did not pick his calls.

Neither the transition chairman nor that of the market could immediately be reached for comments, despite attempts.

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