Ebonyi state government has extended the relocation of traders of Abakpa Main market to International market to January 10, 2020.

The extension was as a result of the intervention of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Ebonyi State chapter in the crises between the state government and traders over their relocation to new market.

During the last meeting with traders, the governor gave them till October 15, to relocate, but following complains by the traders at the meeting, he directed CAN to look into the issues and get back to him.

Following CAN’s recommendation, Umahi announced the extension during a joint meeting between a delegation of CAN, traders and government on Thursday at the Governor’s Lodge, Abakaliki.

He also announced the relocation of the Building Materials Market to the state owned building materials factory at Ezzamgbo in Ohaukwu local government area of the state.

The governor directed that the agreement reached at the meeting should be signed by all concerned, warning the traders against politicizing the grace extended to them by government.

He also 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those who instituted a suit against government over the matter should be resealed until all pending cases in court be withdrawn.

It would be recalled that traders at the Abakpa Market and the Building Materials Market, Abakaliki have been at loggerheads with the state government over the order for them to relocate.

The traders’ in both markets had dragged the government to court challenging the order as forceful eviction.

However, the governor at the meeting constituted a joint working committee headed by Secretary to the State Government, Kenneth Ugbala to coordinate allocation of shops at the International market and the Ezzamgbo building materials site for the Abakpa and building material traders respectively.

He further offered the Lot 4 of the International market free of charge for the traders to develop on their own as well as one year free rent for Lots 2 and 3.

“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 I 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 Aluminum, 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 patronize you while you are here, he added.”

Earlier in his address, the state CAN chairman and the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Umahi, on Religion and Welfare Matters, Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali, who also headed the committee, told the governor that the traders had agreed to drop all their misgivings against government and have accepted to relocate to the new market.

He pleaded with the government to offer some palliatives to ease the traders’ movement.

Meanwhile, some of the traders who spoke, including Mr. Emeka Nwome and Chief Humphrey Uche accepted the government’s order on their relocation.

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