Traders in Kaduna State have rejected the announcement by Governor Nasir el-Rufai to expand some markets in the state.

El-Rufai had in a media chat said that some markets in the state have been listed for expansion which includes Kasuwar Barchi, Sabon Gari and Central markets (Shaikh Gumi).

He also said that while some markets will be moved, new ones will be built.

“These markets need expansion and we are going to expand them. We also intend to build new markets in neighbourhood communities like shopping malls where people will go and rent shops‎.

“From here we will also move to Zaria and Kafanchan towns to build new markets. We just have to develop the state,” he said.

Rejecting the plans, the traders in the markets who spoke with Arewa Trust Weekly, said the governor is making move to eject them from the markets while also adding that the governor would not provide an alternative for them.

Jafaru Madobi labeled the expansion as ‘wickedness’ saying that traders are pleading with God to change the mind of the governor.

He said: “This to us is wickedness because as I speak we are all worried and confused. We all know that by the time the market is demolished many of us will not be given another shop. For me what we need is capital from the governor not market expansion.”

Usman Mani, a secondhand cloth seller, said that traders in the markets highlighted for demolition do not have the financial capability to rent shops and stalls in the new markets after reconstruction by the government.

He said, “We are worried since the pronouncement by the governor because there is no alternative provided to us. Where does he want us to go because majority of us cannot afford the kind of money to rent the new shops after the expansion?

“We also expected to hear him talk about paying compensation for our shops to be demolished but he didn’t say anything in that regard. So as far as I’m concerned these expansions will only lead to unemployment rather than providing jobs because by the time he forces us to leave many will be out of business.”

Sani Muhammad, a tailor in the market, said the special prayers were conducted in some mosques within the market against the plan.

“There were special prayers against the plan because many of us are worried about the expansion. We are worried due to lack of alternative for traders if the expansion begins,” he said.

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