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Marketers threaten revenge vote against CDC

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By Lewis S. Teh

Marketers here have threatened revenge vote against the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) during its second term bid in the 2023 presidential and legislative elections as a protest against their removal from the densely populated market areas of Redlight in Paynesville and Duala on Bushrod Island.

“If they continue to demolish our market structures and bring total hardship and suffering on us, then we have no option but to vote against the CDC in 2023,” some aggressive marketers have said during an interview with reporters.

For years marketers have abandoned market buildings and occupied the streets in Redlight and Duala, making it difficult for vehicles and pedestrians to move freely in those areas.

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Modern Gobachop market

Their mass gathering has often put political pressure on governments here each time they attempt to drive them from the streets into the markets for their own safety and the free flow of traffic.

Early Monday morning, 12 July 2021, a large number of aggrieved marketers from the Duala market were seen protesting against President George Manneh Weah’s government for demolishing their market structures, lamenting that this will bring total hardship and suffering upon them.

During the marketeers’ protest Monday, they complained that the action of the government through the Monrovia City Police (MCP) to continue demolishing market structures clearly shows the government’s cruel behavior and lack of human feeling to many of them who are considered to be the suffering masses.

“We voted for this government for us to benefit, but now nothing we have benefited besides massive suffering and hardship,” one marketeer said.

Tenneh Fayah who sells cosmetics for babies including clothes for children said the size of the tables in the market building in Duala where they have been asked to relocate was small and as such, it could host all of her goods.

It can be recalled that the Mayor of Monrovia Jefferson T. Koijee along with Acting Public Works Minister and officials of the Paynesville City Corporation embarked on a rescue mission to clean up the dirt from the Gobachop market, and assured marketeers of a possible relocation following the cleaning of the market.

Meanwhile, Montserrado County District #16 Representative Dixon Seboe has promised to bring calm to the situation this week, saying the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) has its own mandate.

“But I want to assure my people that when we meet the mayor, we will discuss and settle the matter,” he said.

Rep. Seboe however frowned on the marketeers for challenging the government, noting that when there are situations, he does not see it necessary for anyone to challenge authorities.

In the same vein, Redlight marketers said they are disappointed over the government’s decision to have them relocated to the newly constructed Omega Market Building, saying the move has caused them some losses.

According to them, Omega Market is not spacious enough to host the multitude of sellers relocated from Redlight.

“We can’t afford to sell in that place. The structure itself is not complete, besides, they built the market in the swamp. Now that we [are] in the rainy season, we face difficulties,” another marketeer said.

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