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Gov Otti visits Aba market gutted by fire, promises to rebuild shops

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Governor Alex Otti of Abia State visited the section of Ahia Ohuru (New Market) at Ngwa Road, Aba, which was gutted by fire on Saturday night.

Governor Otti headed straight to the market on Sunday after worshipping at the Methodist Church, Wesley Cathedral, Aba.

He frowned at the poor condition of the structures housing the market stalls, saying that the condition of the buildings and their layout posed a great threat to lives and were not fit for human activities.

Consequently, the governor, who was accompanied by his wife, Mrs Priscilla Otti, the Chief of Staff, Dr Caleb Ajagba, the Mayor of Aba South, Chief Uche Wogu, and some other officers of the state and market executives, promised to engage with the traders through the market leadership.

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“First of all, this place is not worthy for anyone to stay. All these places. This (the structure) will soon cave in. So, what we need to do is engage the market leadership. All these buildings need to go down from A to Z. So we can relocate them to a temporary place and rebuild here, then they come back, the governor said.

“Modern market shouldn’t be like this; they (the traders) need help. A fire truck can’t even enter here, so we should have that in mind when we are planning,” he added.

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Explaining some points to Governor Otti, the chairman of the market, Mr Uchechukwu Anyanwu, said that most of the structures in the market were not meant for multiple floors but traders started converting them to multi-storey buildings.

Governor Otti directed the leadership of the market to liaise with the local government chairman to engage with the Greater Aba Development Authority, GADA, to discuss how to fix the market and come back to him.

Also, the Mayor of Aba South attributed the poor condition of the buildings and structural arrangement of shops in the market to a lack of proper planning and the use of substandard materials in building the shops.

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