Fruit sellers at Ukwu-orji, behind Government House, Awka, today embarked on a peaceful protest to Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, (ANPC) premises to register their grievances against proposed demolition of their market.
The group which identifies themselves as Ukwuorji Government House Fruit Market Association, stormed National Light premises at exactly 1.00pm, carrying placards of different inscriptions.
According to spokesperson of the group, Chinwe Akwuobi, the open environment where they carry out their business is very ideal for them as they sell only fruits and may not require lock-up shops in the area.
“We are here to say no to proposed demolition of the existing fruit market at the Ukwuorji section of Government House, for the building of stalls. We the traders at the area do not want any lockup shop or stalls erected for us as that will affect the fruits we sell there.”
She further stated that the move to chase fruit sellers out of the area was conceived by the Chairman of Awka South Local Government, Leo Nwauba without taking into account the welfare of the poor women carrying out fruit selling activities there; which according to them, they do not have the capacity to buy or pay for the shops when they are completed.
The group further said, they had taken their grievances to the governor at the Government House and they were given audience by representative of the government They lauded Governor Willie Obiano for his grassroots oriented government.
Receiving the women on behalf of the Management and Staff of Anambra Newspapers Printing Corporation (ANPC), Kingsley Ugwu urged the women to express their grievances in a very civil manner.
Addressing the protesters, the Chairman, Enforcement Committee on Law on Prohibition of Fraudulent Activities on Land, Property and other Matters, Ikechukwu Ndigwe admonished the women to make consultations with the local government chairman and shun further protests as the situation has not called for demonstration.
He reminded them that they had visited the chairman on the issue and the local government boss did not chase them away but was planning to make things better for them. Therefore, they should work with him to ensure they got the best of whatever their demands are.
As at the time of filing this report, comments of the local government chairman and other relevant authourities were yet to be obtained.