Estimated 5,000 traders, including market women and widows under the auspices of Association of Wuye Ultra Modern Market Allottees (AWUMMA) on Sunday in Abuja staged a protest over alleged continued harassment, intimidation and suppression by All Purpose Shelters, reports NaijaAgroNet.
The protesters also called on President Muhammad Buhari to intervene in the market crisis despite subsisting judgement by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court demanding that traders take possession of their shops.
They carried placards with inscriptions such as,"Mr President, defend the poor traders from persecution"; "Disobedience of court order is corruption"; and "Democracy on trial at Wuye market."
NaijaAgroNet gathered that All Purpose Shelters is owned by the Wife of immediate past Governor of Benue State, Mrs Yemisi Suswan.
On July 28 2016, the market reopened for business through the combined efforts of armed mobile policemen from FCT Police Command and Wuye Police Station. However, the next day, the traders were chased away from the market by security men allegedly acting on instructions from 'the above.'
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the protest, the Chairman of AWUMMA, Comrade Nnaemeka Nwobodo called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC),World Human Rights, Due Process Office and good spirited individuals to "rise up for justice today for our tomorrow."
Nwobodo decried that over 5000 members of AWUMMA have resolved to lay down their lives for justice today except if President Buhari intervenes in the crisis even as they enjoined the Presidency to call the FCT Commissioner of Police to order who they accused of obstructing justice in Wuye market.
Equally speaking, the Public Relation Officer, AWUMMA, Barr. Sunny Anyanwu noted that after three and half legal battle at the High Court Apo, that the court on 29th April 2015 delivered a landmark judgement in favour of the traders under AWUMMA.
"It was on the strength of victory again at the Appeal Court that traders wrote to the then FCT Commissioner of Police, Usman Alkali who directed that the court judgement should be respected after obtaining due legal opinion,” he said.