From Magnus Eze, Enugu

The Ikechukwu Ezeugwu Foundation has donated N2 million in support of the displaced Ogigie market traders in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State.

This is as the ‘Ogigie Nsukka Traders Support Fund’ has been floated to bring the affected traders out of their state of despondency.

At least 1,800 shops in Nsukka main market were demolished recently by the Enugu State Ministry of Transport to give way for a transport interchange being proposed by the state government.

The demolition has caused uproar for lack of alternative provision for the traders, coupled with 72 hours short notice the traders said they were given to pack out of their shops. No fewer than nine affected persons were reported to have lost their lives since the incident.

Chairman of the foundation, Dr. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, who made the presentation at the remaining part of the market, appealed to well-meaning individuals and groups such as financial institutions, faith-based organizations and volunteer agencies to also show compassion by coming to the aid of the displaced traders.

Ezeugwu said that even though he had worked with the government, his parents were traders, which made him appreciate the difficulty the affected traders were passing through, hence, the support.

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The immediate past leader of Enugu State House of Assembly expressed optimism that the traders will come out of their present predicaments.

But he urged them not to cause more pain to themselves by taking the matter much to heart: “In order to demonstrate our love for the affected traders in practical, measurable, and verifiable terms, I’m appealing for financial assistance on their behalf in order to assuage their situation. This effort will help them to stabilise emotionally even before whatever money we are able to raise is given to them and before they are compensated by the government.

“I’m aware that the leadership of the market is working with the government authorities to ensure a seamless verification of affected shop owners with a view to doing the needful within the shortest possible time.

“Please, no amount of money is too little as a little drop of water makes the ocean. May God reward you abundantly and always meet you at your point of need as you make your donation notwithstanding the economic realities, we are presently facing in our country today.”

Chairman of the Ogigie Market Amalgamated Association Nsukka (OMATAN), Mrs. Ngozika Ozioko applauded the Foundation for the gesture.

A shop owner, Mr. Jonas Onyekachi said he lost three shops to the demolition, noting that only three days’ notice was given to them.

Alleging that no alternative place was given them, she appealed to the state government for compensation of the affected traders.

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