We’re Suffering From Bad Road, Rain- Gwagwalada Traders Beg Gov’t

Traders at Gwagwalada market are complaining of a lack of patronage due to bad roads which have hindered access to the market by residents.

Gwagwalada, a local government area in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has a population of 157,770 according to the 2006 census.

The road is filled with huge portholes and the rains have further worsened the situation and made the road unpassable, making it difficult to access the market.

Traders who spoke to THE WHISTLER have expressed frustration at the situation, with many complaining of a lack of sales.

Mary Agbechi, a trader who moved to the front of the market, said “See, I’m supposed to go to the bush market to buy more yams and sell, but I can’t go now. Look at the ones I have, I haven’t finished selling them yet. Now, nobody can pass because of this road to come and buy them.

“Our customers usually drive off to the Friday markets to buy goods leaving us here at Gwagwalada market. Some car owners don’t even want to come down from their cars because they’ll calculate the amount of mud they’ll pack into their cars.

“We plead with the government to come and assist us and repair the road because it’s affecting our sales.”

Ladi Abbah, another trader, said the road had caused her so much pain

Ladi Abbah, with her two children

She said,  “Please, I don’t want to talk about this road because if I do, my blood pressure will go up, only God Almighty himself can talk for us in this matter. In the whole market, we pay revenue, if we fail to pay, they’ll pack any amount of our goods they can lay hands on and go with it, yet no road.

“How can this not affect our market, if people did not pass and buy, how can we sell?

“Many car engines have been knocked by this road. Sometimes we’ll help them push and our body will end up getting muddy. “

She said some of her customers have told her they could no longer come to buy from her in the market.

Another trader who did not reveal her name said: “The Area Council is collecting revenues from us, but without selling, how can we get the revenue? Apart from that, how much do I even make in a day for me to pay revenue?

“What are they using the revenues for, is it not for the roads? And they failed to repair the road with all the revenues collected. They will say POS should pay revenue, gas sellers, yam sellers, to even enter with your car into the market is another payment of revenue. Everything revenue, revenues!”

A yam seller, Folorunsho Grace, cried out saying, “It’s a bad market for me, since morning I didn’t sell a single yam. Everywhere is silent. This is getting to two years now we’ve been experiencing this.

Folorunsho Grace, sitting in front of Gwagwalada Market

“This is a rainy season, people are not coming to the market again because of the potholes. Any car that passes here will not like to come the second time.

“Now this is market day, as you can see, it makes people not come to the market again. The okada people are dodging the road, all the motorists have deserted the road and when you enter the market, everywhere looks scanty. So, it is really giving us problems.”

A commercial motorcyclist, Mohammed Farouk,  said “Okada” riders don’t like coming to the market because of the road.

Mohammed Farouk sitting on his motorcycle in front of the market.

He said, “We, the okada riders, can stay 3 to 4 days without passing through this road. In fact, even if there’s no rain, we feel discouraged to still pass here due to the potholes.

Abdul, a gas seller also said “Some of my customers will say instead of them to pass this road, let them go elsewhere, it’s better for them to be cheated there than coming through this road to refill gas again. 

“Some customers who are helpful will tell me to go and carry their cylinder from their house, refill, and return it for them. They said they can’t pass this road. Most car owners got their bumpers removed or engines knocked.”

Responding to the cries of the traders,  Abubakar Giri, chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, told THE WHISTLER in a phone conversation that the road is not a council road.

He said it is a Federal Government project being handled by the Minister of State, FCT, and the  Satellite Town Infrastructure Development Agency.

 “I went there recently concerning this same road and was told that the road is being taken care of,” he said.

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