(Odogo Woke) – It was a pitiable sight Wednesday afternoon seeing traders who claim to be original owners of shops at the Rumuwoji market that was burnt 17 December 2013, and rebuilt by the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state last year, crying in the sun for the Rivers State government to give them their shops. Scores of the traders gathered in front of the new market, carrying placards demanding for their shops.
Boniface Ohakwe, one of the protesting traders who spoke with Notable Outcome, said the practice has always been to allocate shops to original owners whenever a burnt market is rebuilt. He gave the example of the Phase one of the Rumuwoji market , adding that the practice is the same in neighbouring states.
Other traders who spoke with Notable Outcome wondered why the public would be invited to come and ballot for the shops when the Commissioner for Housing, Elder Chinedu Tasie had said the shops are inadequate, and when the original owners of shops in the market had not been attended to.
The traders said the only ballot they approve is to know their shop number and location, and not to choose between yes and no shop. They called on the commissioner of housing to do the needful since he has the records of original shop owners, adding that majority of them are Rivers people.
The traders told newsmen that they have taken their protests to the Government House and that they will continue to demand for their right until wisdom prevails and the right thing is done.