‘Treat us as human beings and not as beasts of burden’ – Traders appeal to Mayor Gibson
After the intensification of Operation WID early last year, many evicted traders from Siaka Stevens, Wilberforce, and ECOWAS streets became frustrated as they were no more engaged in any form of business.
Abacha Street traders were not mentioned in the plan to be relocated in the shattered constructed corrugated zinc market structures when they were erecting the demolished pan body market stalls at Sewa Grounds because they were not affected by Operation WID.
What is most questionable here is why was the Sani Abacha traders were not involved in the planned relocation of traders to the Sewa Grounds?
This paper has now been reliably informed that the then pan body structures have already being paid for by dispossessed traders from Siaka Stevens and ECOWAS streets from the Freetown City Council [FCC].
The source also explained that receipts have been issued to the traders for the compensation amount they have earlier honoured to the FCC. Findings also revealed that the expelled traders from those mentioned routes were only waiting for the whistle to be blown for them to take over the stalls they have already paid for.
That simply means that the Sani Abacha Street traders will not have any place to sell at Sewa Grounds.
This, they argue, was just a way of showing hate against them because they did not prepare a place to relocate them.
The traders are therefore appealing to the FCC Mayor, His Worship Franklyn Bode Gibson to treat them as human beings and not as beasts of burden.
They further stated that the attitudes of some senior officials at FCC was a clear demonstration of dishonesty, unfaithfulness and less caring among people that are entrusted with public positions to the masses who are supposed to be beneficiaries of public properties.
In another development, in early January 2013 Mayor Bode Gibson made it clear to Journalists during the Government weekly press briefing at the Ministry of Information and Communications, Youyi Building, Freetown that some traders will be relocated while those that misuse public properties will not be relocated. The question the people are asking is what the properties were that he was referring to.
Was he referring to the structures that were built by the former Mayor Herbert George Williams who is perceived to have done more good works than him, or was he referring to the demolished pan body structures?
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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