Nigeria: Kano Traders Protest Government Demolition of 5,000 Stalls

Nigeria: Kano Traders Protest Government Demolition of 5,000 Stalls

By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria

In a significant protest on Thursday, traders in Kano expressed their anger over the demolition of approximately 5,000 stalls by the Kano State Government. The demolition, orchestrated by the Urban Planning and Development Authority (KNUPDA), took place around the Kano Main Eid Ground on IBB Way in the Kano metropolis.

The action, executed on Wednesday, followed the expiration of a 48-hour ultimatum issued by the agency. The stalls, according to KNUPDA, were occupied illegally by the traders.

The demolition triggered a strong reaction from the affected traders. Many refused to vacate the site and criticized the government vehemently, resorting to unprintable language to express their discontent. Armed policemen were deployed to support KNUPDA officers during the demolition, but they could do little to alleviate the tension.

Market officials revealed to our correspondent that the traders had been conducting their business in the market area for 18 years. This area had been allocated to them by the Kano Emirate Council, under the late Galadiman Kano, Alhaji Tijjani Hashim.

The traders mentioned that the previous state administration had officially allocated a different area for them to continue their businesses. However, the demolition, occurring just four days before the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations, caught many off guard. Thousands of customers, both local and from neighboring states, were in the market purchasing items for the upcoming Sallah festival.

The market was known for a variety of goods, including textile materials, children’s wear, foodstuffs, footwear, plastic materials, and cooking utensils. The timing of the demolition was particularly criticized as it disrupted the traders’ busiest period.

One of the market leaders lamented, “The demolition should have been carried out before this time, and the government should have provided us with an alternative location.” The lack of an alternative trading site added to the traders’ frustration.

The government’s decision has been widely condemned, with many seeing it as an ill-timed and poorly handled move, given the proximity to the significant religious festival.

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