Kaduna: Barnawa Community protests el-Rufai’s planned demolition of market

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*says it would lead to more unemployment

The protesters on a procession

In a deliberate bid aimed at getting Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s sympathy
that would lead to rescinding the Kaduna State Government’s  decision
to demolish the market in their community, union leaders, shop owners,
tenants and others from Barnawa Community, Kaduna State North-West Nigeria,  embarked on a peaceful protest on Friday around the market’s vicinity.
Carrying placards that bore different inscriptions like ‘we say no to
demolishing our market’ and others, their efforts paved off as several
journalists were attracted to find out what was going on.
Chairman of Kaduna Market Traders Union, Malam Abdullahi Suleiman said
that the government served them notice of the demolition on February
27, 2017, giving them 10 days deadline to  vacate the premises.
He explained that they were not against government’s plans, but
appealed that the government should consider their plight as they had
spent resources in developing existing structures within the facility.
“We are here protesting to call the governor’s attention because we
received notice that they want to demolish our shops and contract it
out to a developer to build new shops after which we may be expected
to buy or lease from them.
“We are not happy about the development because we have seen the
experiences gathered from other areas were similar exercises were
carried out and are not convinced it would work in the general
interest of the common man,” he submitted.
He said though the notice handed out to them had expired, they thank
the Governor because he may have postponed the action after reading a
letter they addressed to him.
While fielding questions from newsmen, the Kaduna State Chairman,
National Union of Tailoring and Garment Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN),
Comrade Abdulazeez Adeyemi  said that they expect the state government
to first of all, compensate and relocate them before embarking on the
planned demolition.
He explained that since they were the ones that built the existing
structure, it would be unfair for them to lose all only to start again
when a developer invests funds into building new structures.
He further said that at a time like this when the economic condition
in the country was harsh and telling on many families, it was not a
timely decision, stressing that so many tailors doing their trade in
the market would  lose source of livelihood.
“We are creating jobs in this period that jobs are being lost and
expect that we should be encouraged to train more young men and women
who would eventually be established and create jobs in their
businesses,” he said.
Also commenting, a trader who said he has been operating from a rented
shop at the market for over 20 years, David Ilori lamented that the
government should listen to the voice of their appeal.
“The government said that they are creating jobs. Is that how to
create jobs?” he queried.
Ilori went on to explain that the Barnawa Market was well structured
and boasts of standard shops that were mostly decked with room for
roads inside.
“So we appeal that they should let it be. In Sheikh Gummi Market,
after they did what they are trying to do here, many people lost their
lives as a result of the untold hardship losing their shops brought on
them.  And now if you go there, you would see that 60 per cent of the
shops in the market are unoccupied,” he stressed.
He also pointed at the Railway Station which he said was demolished
years ago and has not been reconstructed till date, prompting him to
advise the government to first of all concentrate its efforts at the

Station Market’s reconstruction.

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