Story from Najib SANI, Bauchi
Small scale traders at Bauchi central market have protested the notice given to them by the state government to quit the place they operate as a result of the traffic congestion caused on the road along the area.
The government had three months ago allocated new plots to the traders at Muda Lawal market and asked them to relocate.
But the traders have lamented that the deadline given them was too short calling on the government to extend the deadline.
Leader of the amalgamated small scale traders who led the protest to the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Bauchi on Thursday. Alhaji Mu’azu Chiroma said the affected businessmen could not afford to build the shops in the new location within the stipulated period.
He asked the state governor Bala Mohammed to extend the period of the vacation, give them loans to build new shops or build it for them so they would pay in instalments.
“We were given three months to build the shops at the new location but the notice is too short. We cannot build them by the deadline because we are small scale traders.
“We appealed for loans to build the new shops or the government on the compassionate ground should build for us”. He said.
When contacted, the chairman of the task force on the market who doubles as the chairman of Bauchi state Road Transport Agency (BAROTA), Air Commodore Tijjani Baba Gamawa (Rtd) insisted that government would not extend the deadline urging the affected traders to vacate the area in the next 48 hours.
According to him, the traders who sell commodities near roads outside the market cause serious traffic difficulties around the area saying that was what informed the decision to evict the affected businessmen.