Land grabbing: 5000 market women protest against ex-Benue Governor Suswam, wife in Abuja

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ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – About 5,000 traders, including market women and widows under the auspices of of Wuye Ultra Modern Market Allottees (AWUMMA) on Sunday in Abuja staged a protest over continued harassment, intimidation and suppression by All Purpose Shelters owned by a former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam and his wife, Yemisi.

They also called on President Muhammad Buhari to intervene in the market crisis, which has persisted despite a subsisting judgement by the FCT High Court demanding that traders take possession of their shops.

They carried placards with inscriptions such as,”Mr President, defend the poor traders persecution”; “Disobedience of court order is corruption”; “Democracy on trial at Wuye market”; as well as “Gabriel & Yemisi Suswan, you killed Benue State, don’t Wuye market traders”.

All Purpose Shelters is said to be owned by Mrs Yemisi Suswan.

On July 28, the market reopened for business through the combined efforts of armed mobile policemen FCT Police Command and Wuye Police Station.

However, the next day, the traders were chased away the market by security men allegedly acting on instructions from ‘above’.

Briefing 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 Rights, Due Process Office and good spirited individuals to “rise up for justice today for our tomorrow.”

While drumming support for the Federal Governments anti-corruption fight, he regretted that the worst corruption was to obstruct justice by influential Nigerians like the Suswans who use police to harass traders.

Nwobodo noted that over 5,000 members of AWUMMA have resolved to lay down their lives for justice except if Buhari intervenes in the crisis even as they enjoined the Presidency to call the FCT Commissioner of Police to order whom they accused of obstructing justice in Wuye Market.

Also speaking , the Public Relations Officer of AWUMMA, Mr. Sunny Anyanwu, noted that after three and half year legal battle at the High Court, Apo, that the court on April 29, 2015 delivered a landmark judgement in favour of the traders under AWUMMA.

According to him, “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.