Build, don’t destroy!
Many times when I move around in Nigeria, I’ve often come upon scenes where officials of the government, together with armed forces, destroy markets.
Many times when I look at the faces of those doing the destruction, I see happy smiles on them, as if they’re so excited to see hapless market women and men lose their means of livelihood. While it’s often a good initiative in line with urbanization of some locations within the state territories, I believe there should be a process to aid in a smooth relocation.
For what it is, markets, especially village markets are ‘owned’ by the people. I even consider them as spiritual monuments, held so sacrosanct by the traders.
In doing a relocation I believe that a process that involves massive communication campaigns, orientation and reorientation, complete construction of the new markets, and aid in helping the traders move over will go a long way to easing the friction between traders and the government.
Three days ago, my team and I visited the popular Akwakuma Market in Owerri. They were excited to see us to listen to the message of transformation in Imo State.
They were heartfelt speeches by a few of them and it was simply beautiful listening to them share their grievances, their aspiration and their desires for a revamped Imo State.
To create an Imo State filled with endless possibilities, inclusionary approach is necessary where all involved in building the economy are equitable stakeholders.
Join us on this movement.