Protesting female traders numbering over 100, stormed the palace of the Village Head of Mbiabong Ikot Essien in Etoi clan in Uyo Local Government, Eteidung Hosea Okonto to protest the wanton destruction of properties in the community market as the government of Udom Emmanuel demolishes structures along Oron Road.
Operatives of the Uyo Capital City Development Authority have been demolishing structures, including markets in Uyo.
Leader of the protesters, Arit Ndueso Ekpenyong said the protest became necessary because Uyo Capital City Development Authority (UCCDA) had gone beyond their mandate to clear traders off the main road and instead, invade the community to destroy wares, shops and sheds right inside the market.
The action, according to her, had caused the displacement of hundreds of traders whose livelihood depended on the ancient market.
The traders lamented that they have been thrown into untold hardship as most of them lost their goods and had their sheds damaged beyond repairs each time the agents of government visited.
They urged the village head to meet with the chairman of UCCDA, Enobong Uwah to intervene to stop further reckless actions of agents of the agency because, according to them, since the village council warned that no person should trade beyond the stipulated boundaries of the community market, traders had complied to the order.
They however regretted that each time the taskforce ventured into the community, they would go beyond their mandate and move right into the market on a destruction spree.
The traders said they did not object to the agents of government doing their legitimate demolition, but that they should not do it in a mischievous manner to inflict woes on traders who occupied the designated area for the market which was far from the main road.
They noted that most traders in the community were mainly from poor families who relied on trading in the market to sustain their families.
After listening to the protesters, the village head commended the traders for conducting their protest in non-violent manner. He said the village council believed in dialogue to resolve conflicts, especially as the governor, Udom Emmanuel was a peace loving leader.
He assured them that the matter would be treated to address areas of their protest.