Floods occasioned by heavy rainfall that began from Wednesday afternoon till evening wreaked havoc in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, leaving traders and residents in the city counting their losses with eyes filled with tears. The flood sacked most residents from their homes around the Ndiegoro, Eziukwu, Aba-Ukwu and Uratta, while traders at the Ariaria International Market, Ahia-Ohuru, Eziukwu Market and Eke-Oha (shopping centre) lost goods worth millions. The rain got traders trapped in their shops at the Ariaria International Market on Wednesday while trying to secure their good with their efforts, however ending in futility.
They resumed for the day’s trade on Thursday morning with painful evacuation exercise which has to do with the goods they spent huge amount of funds to bring in. Most of them who left before or during the rain found their shops in a pool of water, with most of their goods either floating or totally destroyed. Some traders who deal in cosmetics at B-line particularly the weave-on line were moved to tears as flood soaked their shops which were packed full with the product. All efforts made to reach the leadership of the markets failed as at the time of filing this report, but some of the traders said the extent of damage cannot exactly be quantified in monetary terms, as the the losses came individually which makes it difficult to ascertain.
They however said that if what is being sold from A-Line, B-Line and other major areas in Ariaria, Ahia-Ohuru, Eziukwu and Eke- Oha are to be considered then, one should be talking about hundreds of millions. Mr. Onyema Promise, a medicine dealer told Saturday Telegraph that he lost goods worth millions which has put him in a serious mess.
Promise who was still evacuating and cleaning his shop as at the time our correspondent spoke to him lamented that everyone in their line is angry and blamed the situation on the company handling the project who has failed to do the right thing. “Anytime there is heavy downpour in Aba, this place is a problem. We all lost huge amount of money here. I can’t even estimate what I lost until I’m through, but it is above a million. “A friend of mine called Onyekachi lost huge number of packet shirts he just brought. My neighbour here, Uncle Joe Isiguzo, lost over N2,000, 000 including others that are too numerous to mention.
“Honestly people are suffering here. It will take us up to two weeks to clean up this place. I don’t actually blame the government. “It’s the company that is not doing its job well. The governor has good intentions by bringing back company they thought will do well, but they are not trying at all.” Mr. Ugochukwu Agu, a trader at B-LINE, narrated how he lost almost everything he had in his shop filled with weave-on.
“Honestly, I lost a lot. My whole shops were destroyed. I’m not happy and I can’t speak too much my brother. The pain is too much as I just filled my shops with goods.” Meanwhile, Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) called on the governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senator representing Abia South and Hon. Ossy Prestige, member representing Aba North/Aba South Federal Constituency, to come to the aid of the traders.
COSEYL in a statement issued by its President General, Chief Goodluck Egwu Ibem, sympathized with traders in Ahia-Ohuru, Ariaria and Eziukwu markets over the destruction of their goods by flood. “We call on the state government and the market authorities to as a matter of urgency clear the refuse that has blocked the drainage channels inside the market like Ahia- Ohuru which led to the unfortunate incident. “We also call on the state governor Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, the member representing Aba north and south federal constituent Hon. Ossy prestige, Senator representing Abia south senatorial zone Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Nma Aha Ndigbo) and other well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of this traders.”
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