Spare Owerri New Market

Owerri New Market appears to be next on the line of places to be demolished as the urban renewal plan relentlessly progresses and remains on course.
Traders there have cried to high heavens to have this shelved for now. They are shedding not just tears but blood. We should bear with them. We should hearken to their plea to be allowed to remain in business there for some time more.
The demolition team and their bulldozers had gone there few days ago and met the traders in a mood that could melt the hardest heart. That made it turn back and call off the exercise. The traders offered to die in the process, because the fate that awaits them if the market was demolished would be worse than death. If Owerri new market is sacked and the structures demolished now, it would be the death knell of trade and commerce not only in Owerri city and environs but in the entire Imo state. It will wipe out considerable, un-recoverable business capital.
No alternative place of trade has been prepared and offered the traders. Besides, Eke Ukwu Owerri which has been sacked and demolished is yet to be re-built. Displaced people from there in great and embarrassing numbers are roaming the streets in search of what to do.
It will be unthinkable that the tragic consequences of the current,   massive displacement of people are not clear to the authorities who are carrying out the demolitions.
We join the affected traders and their dependants in calling for caution, and the application of a more gradual tempo in the demolition exercise. This is the popular opinion in the state. It is highly disruptive and can snap the elastic spirit of the traders, if the situation becomes unbearable for all. So far they have conducted themselves commendably peaceably.
They shouldn’t be driven to a point where they would have no choice but to resist the pressures and decide to fight back to defend themselves.  Had I known then comes at last.
Imo can’t afford internal disturbances now in the prevailing harsh economic conditions. We should be careful. Else the demolitions will test the people’s endurance beyond what they can normally sacrifice for urban renewal.

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Christian Voice