Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Traders at Bridgehead Market, Onitsha, Anambra State are excited following the construction of the link road by the leadership of the market.
The one-kilometer road which runs from Drug market through the Power Tools and Allied market to Tinker and Timber markets has been in deplorable condition for decades, which has brought hardship and low patronage to the traders at the market.
The road project which was embarked upon by the leadership of Bridgehead market led by Mr. Sunday Obinze was done based on self efforts by the traders.
President of the Bridgehead Traders Market Association Mr. Sunday Obinze said he took up the challenge to embark on the project due to the suffering the traders have been passing through over the years, especially during the rainy season when the road would be flooded.
“We are embarking on the project due to the directive by the governor that every market should have access road and also for the traders to have thoroughfare to access our market as well as to allow free flow of traffic and enable small and heavy trucks to come in to offload or to carry load in the market. The road is about one kilometer after which we enter into another phase of the project when we have realised enough money.
“The road links Power Tools and Allied market, Combined Traders market, Tinker market, Foam market and Timber market. The road started from Uga Street and end at Niger Street by Timber market. The job is not contract, it is self effort and direct labour which will cost us at least N5 million. There is no assistance from any government, it is purely self effort of the traders and the job will continue. Any money we realize will go into the project,” Obinze stated.
A trader, Mrs. Philomena Onyeamalu expressed happiness over the road project which she said had been a nightmare to traders over the years.
She said the road project would increase their sales and reduce suffering in the market.
“I prayed God to grant Mr. Obinze long life and good health in order to sustain this good job he has started in this market. He is the only leader that has courage to tackle the problems at the market and we want him to continue in office to continue the project. We have suffered enough in this market, we have been swimming on this road whenever rain falls because everywhere will be flooded. With this road and drainage channels the problem is solved,” Mrs. Onyeamalu stated.
Chairman of Foam Dealers Association, Mr. Osita Olisakwe described the road project as a good thing that has happened in the market. According to him, vehicle can now comfortably go into the market to carry load unlike before when there was no access road.
“Before now if there is sign of rain we park our goods and go home because if you are in the market and rain starts, you would be trapped due to the flood. Customers used to avoid coming during rainy season. I believe that when this project is completed there would be more improvement in terms of patronage than before.”
Chairmen of Tinker Union, Mr. Michael Igwara and Power Tools and Allied Product Dealers Associations, Sir Sylvester Ohanonu in separate remarks, commended Mr. Obinze for taking the bull by the horn and embarking on the project that links the entire markets at Bridgehead. They said by so doing, he has distinguished himself from those who had been in that office for decades.
“Nobody who visited this place last year and visit the market now will irecognise the place because there was no road then but now, as you see, we have not just a road but wide motorable road in the market,” Igwara stated.
“We have been suffering for many years and we have been looking for solution all these years. Fortunately, this time around, we have somebody who is humble and humane, and when we cried to him he listened. We told him what we have been suffering during rainy season. There was a day when rain was falling we called him to come and see things by himself and he came and saw the menace of flooding. Even his cloth and shoe were damaged by the flood.
“We are thanking and urging him to continue in this manner so that we can vote for him for second term. He has done timber road as well as Oduwanu to Port Harcourt road, he has done marvelously well, making things to move smoothly in this market. We have been asking him where he got the money he is using for the job, but he always tells us that only God knows. I don’t think there is any union that contributed one kobo since he began the project. Only God knows how he sources fund to do the job.
“I’m calling on the traders to support him for the second term in office because he is doing a good job. He always look for solution to our problems in this market and all traders should support him again after this tenure,” Ohanonu stated.