Rains Dig up The Many Lies Of Orji In Ariaria

The rains are here again bringing to public glare the many mendacities of
the Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji government of Abia State, concerning the
once ubiquitous Ariaria International Market in Aba area of the state.

The market has become a gloominess of itself losing its once allure of
international presence. It has not only lost its international quality,
but, to a large extent its local quality, as traders find it scratchy
trading in the market anymore, due to surging flooding that covers the
entire market when it rains, damaging goods and property worth millions of
naira.

The dilapidated environment of the market is ever ready to pull down tears
from even the eyes of a stonehearted person, except the governor. When this
writer visited the market for first hand information, it was wailing and
gnashing of teeth by not only the traders, but, also, those who came from
far and near to buy one item or the other in the market.

It’s imperative to declare that the governor does not understand the
importance of the market to Ndigbo and, the world at large. Therefore, he
is bent on using multiple dishonesties in responding to the plight of the
traders and buyers in the market.

The ghastly catastrophe of the government is that it has refused to
eschew greed, self-centeredness. It does not do the right thing! There is no pliable roads in the market except those Nigerians have read in the newspapers that the state government has told the world that it has built in the market,
which in reality does not correspond with the reality on ground.

It is all living jokes in and out of the market, unlike what the Governor
Akpabios of Akwa Ibom State would have done using a matching contractor
like Julius Berger to do a fantastic work in the market, if Ariaria were to
be in Akwa Ibom State. Rather, all that Governor T.A Orji and his cluster
of ballyhoos know about is to collect levies and taxes from the afflicted
people in the market, without having anything to show for the victims’
hard-earned money.Bottom of Form 3

In 2012, the Abia State Government through its now fired, barefaced and
shamefaced Chief Press Secretary, Ugochukwu Emezue made bogus claims of how
the government had prepared to revamp the market and, contracts amounting
to millions of money awarded to contractors in making sure that the market
enjoyed enabling environment.

But, all of that are today known as story that was dished out for the dogs. The
Abia State Government had told the world through the garrulous Emezue thus:
“Definitely, the hallmark of this administration is sincerity of purpose.
Anybody working for the state government is working towards one goal – to
take Abia State to the next level. This is something that has not been in
place before.

“The economic importance of the Ariaria Market remains the fact that it is
the place traders go to buy and sell and if you look at some of the things
that are being done in Aba, you will discover that the Market has an
overwhelming economic importance within the South East and by extension
Nigeria…”

The state government through Emezue also had confirmed that the problem
with the market is neither with the traders nor with the buyers, as it
said: “The traders here are skilled and have been providing employment for
youths in the area. For us, that place is a hub of economic activities in
the state…”

With what is happening in the market today in term of environmental decay,
it is necessary to state that the Gov. T.A Orji government had lied through
Emezue, saying: “The state government is trying to make sure that whoever
comes here (Ariaria Market) is comfortable and at the end of the day the
state benefits”.

It is on record that this market which started its commercial activities in
1976 has not experienced the menace of environmental woes as it is
experiencing in this government. It’s not the belief of the founders of the
market that traders would be experiencing its current fate, which was what
they suffered in a market its name was given as Aba Ikoha Market, which
gutted fire enhancing traders to relocate to Ariaria.

With over 30, 000 stores, Ariaria now suffers congestion to its brim. The
government hardly remembers that it had said through Emezue that “When you
have accessible roads it makes it possible for people to come this place to
transact their businesses under a favourable condition. If the place is not
accessible who will come to patronize your goods?”

Apart from the gullies and flooding in the market, another heartbreaking
side of findings is that many of the traders are gearing up to relocate to
perceived favourable neighbouring states like Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers,
Rivers, even Cameroun. One trader told this writer that, “Cameroonians were
before major buyers of leather products, particularly shoes manufactured in
the market, but they are no more again today, as the numbers of
Cameroonians that come to the market are insignificant. If at all any still
comes!”

It was renowned through a source that the government of Gov. T.A Orji had
mapped out a sum supposedly to be in the tone of N50million and awarded the
contract for the construction of seven internal roads in the market. Yet,
there are drainage and road problems in the market, making the roads
impenetrable as the rains are here.

Another trader interviewed lamented that the market was better of when it
was beforehand governed by Aba North Local Government Area of the state,
before the state government decided to take it over with allegation that
the Aba North Local Government Area was incapable of managing the market
adequately.

Not even a committee that was set up by the Abia State Government through
the State Ministry of Commerce has lived up to the expectation of manning
the roads and drainages in the market. The management board seemingly
headed by one Chief Francis Duru assigned with the work of “collecting
revenues accruable to the market for the purposes of maintaining standard
there” was unable to “bring about a turnaround in the physical development,
revenue generation and standardization of the Market in no distant time.”

Duru reportedly had said when his committee was assigned with the job that,
he was very happy with the governor of the state. Duru had also believed
that with the government supposedly handing over the leadership of the
market to the traders of the market, there would be improvement in the
infrastructure reconstruction, rehabilitation and reformation of the
market.

He apparently had said: “My government will buy three compressor tractors
that will be in charge of refuse disposal, three tippers that will be going
round the market to collect refuse so as to ensure that the market remains
clean at all times.

“We have started the scooping of all the gutters and drainages and I
believe that by the time we finish the construction of the roads, this
market will regain its lost glory in the state and beyond. I will specially
thank the Governor because of the timely intervention on the issue of road
in the market…”

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