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Airport: Enugu Govt sets to relocate displaced traders, supports association with N21m

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Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State says its government is doing everything possible to relocate the Orie Emene Market traders following the ongoing demolition of the market.

Ugwuanyi made the pledge in Enugu on Monday when the Emene Traders Association in Enugu East Local Government led a peaceful protest to the Government House.

The demolition followed the threat by the Federal Government to close down the Akanu Ibiam International Airport to international operations because of its inability to expand the runway.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika had on May 17, disclosed that the state government situated the market, Free Trade Zone and an abattoir close to the airport making it difficult for expansion of the runway.

The governor, who supported the traders association with N21m, explained that the support was to lessen the suffering of the traders in the interim.

He promised to establish a standard market as the state, local governments including the traditional ruler were making frantic effort to finalize their permanent market settlement.

Ugwuanyi said that the reason for the demolition was for national security and to avoid disaster such as death among air travelers.

The governor commended the traders on peaceful conduct and urged them to be patient with the government.

Earlier, Mr Chijioke Ezeme, the Chairman of Orie Emene Traders Association pleaded with the governor to come to their rescue as many of the traders had no place to relocate to since the demolition commenced.

Ezeme said that the demolition had affected their livelihood as many also lived in the Orie Emene Market, making them to look hopeless.

Mrs Juliet Chigbo, Secretary of the Orie Market Women Association said that the demolition came to them as a surprise as no notice was given to them before the destruction.

Mr Alex Ugwu, the Chairman of the Enugu East Local Government Council called on the traders to exercise patient as efforts had been made to secure a place for them to relocate.

Ugwu made a donation of N1m as well as the past chairman of the council, Mr Cornelius Nnaji who also donated N1m to the traders.

The protesters were carrying placards with inscriptions such as `Do not allow us to die in frustration, relocate us within our locality’, `Treat us fairly by compensating us’, `We are dying in hunger, help us out’.

Edited by Maureen Atuonwu

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