Ada Wodu, Calabar
Some traders whose structures, mostly containers, were demolished in Calabar, Cross River State, on Sunday, have bemoaned their plights as they counted their losses.
They told our correspondent that they lost all the goods in the containers, which were carted away by officials of the Ministry of Environment, led by the Commissioner, Mfon Bassey.
One of the traders, Eka Joel, who sold herbal products, said she lost her container and all the goods inside it.
“I lost my container with goods worth N1m. I came this morning and did not see my container,” she said.
Another trader, Oyigha Ogar, who sold foodstuffs, including yam, cocoyam, garri and palm oil, said she lost her container valued at N96,000, and goods worth N250,000.
“Some of us took loans to buy and stock our containers. A shop goes for N1.5m. We can’t afford that kind of money,” she added.
A widow and mother of five children, Esther Akpan, said she lost all the coconut and palm oil she was selling.
She said, “I cannot afford N5,000 per month as rent for a shop. I have two children in secondary school that I am training. The government should help us.”
They said the government did not give them any notice to relocate before the demolition exercise.
However, the environment commissioner said the exercise was to pave the way for a clean environment and free flow of traffic in the market and its environs.
Bassey noted that most shops in the market were empty, yet traders preferred to block the roads in the market with their wares.
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