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Duala Market Under Threat

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Members of the Superintendent Council of the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) have disclosed plan to shut down the densely populated Duala Market on Bushrod Island in Monrovia.

The Council says it has planned series of strike actions that would lead to the eventual closure of the market due to current dispute over the land on which the market building was constructed.

According to the marketers, decision stems from continuous disgrace they receive from a Nigerian businessman identified as Mack Roberts. Mr. Roberts is reportedly said to be claiming the area where the Duala Central Market is located.

Madam Victoria Toe, Bendu Sherman and other residents of Duala have expressed serious concerns over the manner in which the Nigerian businessman continues to threaten the LMA authorities to remove the Duala Market.

According to them, Mr. Roberts has claimed that he has the Government of Liberia in his pocket, and that nothing could be done to him. Mr. Roberts is said to have recently used cash influence to detain several market women, including a pregnant woman at the Monrovia Central Prison (South Beach) on Center Street.

Briefing journalists recently at her office in Duala, Madam Haja Sheriff explained that the land in question was purchased by the late Head of State Samuel Kanyon Doe in 1980 and subsequently turned over to the LMA authorities.

Madam Sheriff said to solve the ongoing dispute, the land should be surveyed to establish proper demarcation between the Mendscole Family and the Liberia Marketing Association.

She appealed to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Vice President Joseph Boakai and authorities of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy to come to the aid of the marketers by ensuring that the disputed land is surveyed to avoid confusion that could lead to closing down the market. Efforts to contact Mr. Roberts on the allegation failed as his mobile phone rang persistently without any response.

Meanwhile, members of the National Board of Directors of the Liberia Marketing Association have constituted a working committee that will make proper arrangement for the hosting of the Association’s national convention.

The convention committee, which was established under the supervision of the LMA National Board Chairman, Mr. Abraham Barchue to enhance process leading to the conduct of the institution’s national election later this year, has already begun work.

The secretary of the committee, Mr. G. Dan Sherman, said members of the committee include Jerry V. Geedeh, head; Hawa Kanu, member; Jonathan N. Tugbe, member; and Jones P.Y. Gibson, member.

Mr. Barchue said the committee has embarked on a range of programs aimed at having consultations and conferences with stakeholders of the LMA in the leeward counties to pave the way for election this year.

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