Some traders whose illegal structures, mostly containers were demolished in Calabar on Sunday have bemoaned their plight as they counted their losses.
Some told our Correspondent that they lost all the goods in the containers which were carted away by the officials of the Ministry of Environment led by the Commissioner, Mfon Bassey.
One of the traders, Eka Joel, who sells herbal products, said she lost her container and all the goods inside it.
“I lost my container with goods worth N1 million. I came this morning and did not see my container,” she said.
Ndianabasi, who also works with Eka Joel, said, “They said we should move to the shops in the market but there are no empty shops there.”
Also counting her losses, Oyigha Ogar, who sells foodstuffs such as yam, cocoyam, garri, palm oil, and others, said she lost her container valued at N96,000 and goods worth N250,000.
“Some of us took loans to buy and stock our containers. A shop goes for N1.5m. We can’t afford that kind of money. I will look for a shop that attracts less than that amount,” she said.
A widow and mother of five children, Esther David Akpan, said she lost all the coconut and palm oil she was selling.
“Now I need money to rent a shop. I cannot afford the N5,000 per month as rent for a shop. I have two children in the secondary school I am training. The government should help us,” she pleaded.
When the traders were reminded that they had been told 13 months ago to relocate, they said nobody told them anything in their own section of the market.
During the exercise, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Mfon Bassey, said that the exercise was to pave way for a clean environment and free flow of traffic in the market and its environs.
He said most shops in the market were empty yet traders preferred to block the roads in the market with their wares, adding that they had been served quit notice several months ago but they remained adamant.