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Protest: Kano Govt. Says No Going Back on Sacking of Wheelbarrow Traders In Markets

The Kano State government has insisted that it will not rescind its decision over the sacking of mobile traders using wheelbarrows to sell their commodities at the Abubakar Rimi Market in Sabon Gari, Fagge Local Government Area of the state.

Nigeria Info reports that the mobile traders, who were forcefully chased out of the market this week, staged a peaceful protest at the State Government House on Wednesday.

The protesters under the aegis of the Barrow Group Organisation alleged that the market management had barred them from operating for over two months, over alleged undue congestion in the market.

The Secretary for the group, Abdullahi Nasiru Dauda told our correspondent that they were at the Government House to seek Governor Abba Kabiru Yusuf’s intervention after exhausting all measures to resolve the matter without any headway.

The Chief Security Officer however directed them at the government house to submit their complaint in writing and follow due process.

“We followed all the due process including going to the MD’s office severally to know why they wanted us to leave the market but we did not reach any good conclusion,” said Dauda.

He added, “This is why we want Governor Aba Kabiru Yusuf to help us because for almost three months, we cannot sell and our members taking care of their parents, wives, and children, we cannot go and steal.”

Protesting wheelbarrow traders

The group, who claimed to have been operating in the market for over 20 years, shifted the blame for the market decongestion to some shop owners who are fond of displaying their goods on the walkway.

“We do not congest the market. Many of the shop owners put their goods outside the shops. We used to round the market, or, we just park our barrows near someone’s shop.”

The group also said over the years, previous Managing Directors of the market never chased them out but cautioned them to abide by set rules and regulations.

They alleged that the Managing Director who is also a shop owner is threatened by their activities, adding that their refusal to pay an operational levy of about N1,500 per day instead of N70 previously collected, contributed to the rift.

“We used to pay N20 entry fee and N50 as a running fee before, but now, we pay N1000 to N1500. They began to seize our wheelbarrows when we didn’t pay the fee.” He alleged.

But when contacted on Thursday, Hon. Musbahu Abdullahi, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abba Kabiru Yusuf on Abubakar Rimi Market, insisted that the management of the market would not reconsider the Barrow Traders despite their protest.

Hon. Musbahu Abdullahi

Hon. Musbahu Abdullahi, who spoke through Aminu Salisu, the Secretary of the Market’s Congestion Committee, attributed the forceful evacuation of the wheelbarrow traders to their failure to comply with several notices in the last two months.

Abdullahi said, “For over two months, we went around the market using public address systems to warn them not to cause congestion but they did not hear, that is why we chased them away.”

Abdullahi argued that the congestion was worsening issues of theft in the market.

He, however, clarified that the traders were not prohibited from selling in the market but they must not use wheelbarrows to maintain orderliness.

He therefore suggested that the affected traders should either sell by hand or seek space beside shops within the market premises.

Meanwhile, some traders in Abubakar Rimi Market have expressed mixed reactions to prohibiting traders from using wheelbarrows over allegations of congestion.

Nigeria Info visited the market on Thursday and observed the absence of many of the affected mobile traders with the walkway a bit decongested. 

One of the sellers who disapproved of the vacation of mobile traders, also alleged that the disagreement with the hike in levies contributed to their exit.

“They chased them out because they (mobile traders) refused to give them (management) money again as things are very high.” She spoke.

However, another seller agreed that the operations of the barrow pushers caused congestion, but urged the leadership to create a specific space for them to stay. 

“The truck people need to be cautioned because sometimes, they do block the road. It is better to create a space for them to stay.


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