Karu market has finally given way for an Ultra-Modern Market. The Development Control who is charge of redevelopment of the market have almost finished the first phase of the market, and are about to enter the next stage and said demolition of the remaining part of the old market was inevitable so that they would have free way for reconstruction of the market.
One of the leaders of the team that destroyed the market told our correspondent that the traders were given enough notice but they were deceived by some of their colleagues that there was a subsisting court case. He told our correspondent that development had no case with the traders as they were developing the structures for AMAC.
Reacting to the statement made by the representative of Development Control, the chairman, Karu Market Traders Association, Mr. Emmanuel Obidiume, said he was surprised that Hon. Micah Jiba could not respect court judgments. He said a court in Maitama had given judgment in favour of the traders which said that the traders should not be chased out of the market until an alternative place is made available for them.
Based on this judgment, temporary structures were built but Mr. Obidiume said they were not given to existing traders; rather AMAC sold them to news traders. He said the demolition notice was pasted in the night of 4th November, when traders had gone home. He put the losses encored by the traders in the market to be above two billion naira. He therefore called on the government to help them to get new shops where they would continue their businesses.
Another official of Development Control who pleaded anonymity told our reporter that Development Control approved the plan for redevelopment of the market. He said it was AMAC that enumerated the existing traders who would be given stalls in the new market. On the issue of this demolition, he said the traders were given 72hours notice which took effect on 4th of November.
Some of the victims of the demolition spoke to our reporter, and one of them was Mr. Eric Duru who came to the market six months ago after relocating from Maiduguri. He said the demolition was too sudden that many traders could not believe it, more so as the day was a market day. He said he was able to remove his goods safely. He posited that any trader who wanted to survive in Abuja must be courageous.
Another trader who was badly affected was Mr. Ecomog. He told our reporter that his wife fainted when the bulldozer descended on one of their shops. Ecomog had five shops in the market and he lost all in less than one hour interval. He lost some drinks when the bulldozer dropped some debris on cartons of wine in the demolished shop. One of his regrets was that he borrowed money from bank to stock for the season.