Traders protest against govt’s demolition of Sabon Gari shops
Rainstorm has killed six persons, including five members of a family, and destroyed property worth millions of naira in Kano State.
The heavy downpour, which triggered an ill wind and heavy flood, also rendered thousands of residents homeless across 13 councils of the state.
It crippled vehicular traffic in Tofa and Rimin-Gado councils, having destroyed two major bridges linking the communities to the city.
Addressing journalists yesterday, the Executive Secretary of Kano State Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation Agency, Alh. Ali Bashir, explained that the first heavy rain last month, which lasted several hours, pulled down an uncompleted building, killing four children and their mother in Jaen Quarters, Gwale Council.
He said the sixth victim was electrocuted when a live cable fell on his waterlogged home.
Ali warned residents to desist from blocking drainages and waterways with refuse in their communities.
IN another vein, there was confusion yesterday at Sabon Gari market in Kano, as traders in their hundreds set up bonfires in protest against the state government’s demolition of their shops.
The angry traders occupied the Ibo road, Yankura and Murtala Mohammad way axes where their make-shift shops and kiosks were evacuated and goods reportedly destroyed. They also obstructed vehicular traffic.
Although, armed security personnel later brought the demonstration under control, the traders vowed to resist what they viewed as unjust evacuation at places they occupied and paid for in the last 20 years.
More than 5,000 small-scale business owners were left in pains on Sunday after the Kano State task force set up Governor Abdullahi Ganduje demolished what the government considered as illegal structures at the popular Sabon Gari and Yankura perishable goods markets.
A combined team of the police, Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA) stormed the markets at the weekend pulling down several shops and kiosks.
Chairman of the task force, who is also the Managing Director of KAROTA, Baffa Dan’agundi, had told journalists that the government would clear over 5,000 illegal structures and make-shift shops in the market, as part of its policy to restore the state’s original masterplan.
But the traders insisted that the government was not fair to them by giving them three days notice.
Those who spoke were equally worried about the government claiming the places they pay multiple taxes on.
However, Abubakar claimed that KAROTA had issued the traders notice of evacuation six months ago.