I Don’t Need Your Votes Again – Gov-Umahi to Ebonyi State Traders

The Christian Association of Nigeria in Ebonyi State has intervened in the crisis between  government and traders in the State over movement to a new location. 
The intervention resulted in government’s further extension of the deadline for movement of  Abakpa Main Market traders to the new International Market from October 15 to January 10, 2020.
Governor Umahi, who announced the extension during a joint meeting of a delegation of CAN, traders and government on Thursday at the Governor’s Lodge, Abakaliki, also announced the relocation of the Building Materials Market to the moribund state-owned building materials factory at Ezzangbo, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the State. 
Addressing the traders, the Governor directed that the agreement reached at the meeting should be signed by all concerned, warning the traders against politicising the grace extended to them by government.
He directed that the shops belonging to all those who instituted a suit against government over the matter should be resealed until all pending cases in court be withdrawn.
Recall that traders at the Abakpa Market and the building materials market, Abakaliki had been in a running battle over government’s relocation order. 
Some leadership of the traders association had dragged the government to court challenging the order as forceful eviction. 
The incessant crises, which trailed the development, resulted to the sealing of some shops in the market by the government, which was later reopened them following a plea by CAN.
The Governor at the meeting constituted a joint working committee headed by the Secretary to the State government, Kenneth Ugbala, to coordinate allocation of shops at the International market and the Ezzangbo building materials site for the Abakpa and building material traders respectively.
Umahi further offered the Lot 4 of the International Market free of charge for the traders to develop on their own as well one year free rentage for Lots 2 and 3.
He, however, explained that the rentage, which was yet to be determined for the Lots, would be uniform irrespective of the model and available facilities.
Umahi taunted those who allegedly accuse CAN of collecting money to take sides with government, describing the CAN chairman as a man of stubborn integrity. 
Umahi stressed: “Some people are saying that CAN has collected money and I pity them because they are already on their way to hell fire.
“All the shops that were sealed before should be sealed back today before 2 o’clock.
“Seal also the shops of those that took us to court in building material….
“Anybody that wants to bring in politics into this thing I am equal to the task. 
“Some of you went to social media and wrote all kinds of rubbish that you wouldn’t have voted for me but this matter is at a time I don’t need your vote again, if you want to put it that way.
“I have no interest in that place.
“I am going to move the date of relocation of the market to 10th of January, 2020 to honour CAN, but CAN must get an agreement from all of them. 
“Anybody that is a market person that does not sign this agreement individually must leave by 10th.
“Building materials and aluminium, I said it that day in the church that God spoke to me and said you should move to Ezzamgbo building material. 
“You better go there now.
“The final date for movement is on 10th.
“Why I allow you to still be there is because by November we are going to inject N7.5 billion into the economy to build houses for schools and teachers and we want to patronise you while you are here.”
Earlier, the CAN chairman in the State and the Senior Special Assistant to Umahi on Religion and Welfare Matters, Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali, who also headed the mediatory committee, had informed the Governor that the traders had agreed to drop all their misgivings against government and accepted to relocate to the new market. 
Nwali however solicited that government offers some palliatives to ease the traders’ movement.
Some traders who spoke, including Emeka Nwome and Chief Humphrey Uche, indicated their resolve to abide by government’s order on the relocation.

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