The second picture attached hereunder is Abakpa Market – where traders in Abakaliki were moved to the newly completed St. Margaret Umahi’s International Market, Ebonyi State.
The subsequent pictures are the newly completed International Market by Governor David Umahi.
The beginning, twist, and twirl in reconstructing and relocating traders to the International Market.
It was a herculean task to effect the movement of traders from Abakpa market to the International Market in the midst of destructive criticism, even as the traders never helped matters.
The Governor, after undergoing inspection of major functional markets in Ebonyi, decided to build for the state an International Market – midway to his decision to build the international market, he recalled that his predecessor built an abandoned market, he proceeded to the market; inspected it and said: “in this abandoned market shall an uncommon international market spring forth and it will come to be the best in the country.”
Like every other promise of the Governor, he refused to abandon the already dilapidated and abandoned market but he mobilized for immediate reconstruction and upgrading of the market to what it has become today, an International Market, ranking among the best across the country – Spacious, beautiful and generally accepted for its unique features.
To relocate the traders from Abakpa Market to the New International Market was to the Governor and every other right-thinking mind, an uncommon feat that deserves accolade from everyone but to some others, the Governor was not doing them any good. This is where I looked and confirmed that a lack of information is indeed a disease. I saw where people were forced to be blessed. I observed that Umahi is indeed focused on doing good.
The traders in general at some point took over the street to protest against their relocation to the new market, they rained abuses on the Governor on his good intention to move them from matchbox-like shops to a modern market. It almost generated a bad name for the governor but as the event was unfolding, the governor in his intelligence in managing people continue postponing the scheduled date for the movement for about five times to allow them to prepare their minds and get ready for the movement.
The Governor gave them a soft landing in one of the three lots in the market, he declared the lot 2 free for grab for the first one year, the traders grabbed the offer, locked up the shops but never moved as directed.
Finally, the directive for the movement was enforced on 2nd March 2020 specifically. The movement became a reality, the Abakpa Market was shut down as the International Market kicked-off massively.
The feelings of traders now at the International Market have become a story of success and celebration for moving from a local to an International Market. It is has become a story of praise and pouring of encomium on Governor David Umahi for making it a reality.
A trader in lot 1, Mr. Omechukwu Mbam “We never saw this blessing coming, we were not asked to pay any dime for rent until we settle down for six months. The Governor truly has a high taste. See, this place is spacious and we love it and we thank the governor for his effort in making this difficult task a reality.”
A fashion designer in lot 2, Mrs. Elizabeth Irem, “We the market women cannot thank the Governor enough. If we knew that this is the plan of the governor, to lift us to the international level, we would have done that a long time ago. Please tell Governor Umahi that the market women love him.”
A trader of Phone accessories, John Mba, “We are no more trading in the showcase, we now have shops like that one that is seen in Computer village, we are proud of Governor Umahi as he has set Ebonyi on a high place. God bless him.”
It is always difficult to impress everyone but when you are on the right track and you know your direction, the rest will wait for the day of reward.
The story of the movement of traders from Abakpa Market to the International Market is another testimony that Umahi is focused on transforming Ebonyi State to top in the list of Major Cities in Nigeria which he has almost achieved.
Special Assistant to the Governor
(Media and Publicity)
11th June 2020