Bayelsa State Government has defended its decision for relocating Tombia market to a new site, noting that it was trying to prevent what happened at Jesse, Delta State, where people lost their lives due to a pipeline explosion sometime ago.
This decision was explained by the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, at an emergency meeting, weekend, in Yenagoa with leaders of the traders association and representatives of the various units.
He stated that the former site of the market was sitting on a high pressure Shell oil pipeline known as the Kolo Creek to Gbarain Trunk Line, which posed a grave danger to the lives of those doing business there.
“The place you have been using is sitting on high pressure oil pipelines and that poses great danger to your lives. Many of you are familiar with what happened at Jesse in Delta State some time ago. We don’t want that to happen here.
“Government has already acquired 42 plots of land for the new site of the market. Another 42 will be acquired to further expand it. The new location is government-owned. It is no longer community land. So, no community boys will go there to molest you”, the Deputy Governor said.
In their presentations, Chairman of the Traders Association, Tombia Market, Mr. Nigeria Ewhrudje, and his Okutukutu-Etegwe Market division counterpart, Alhaji Dahiru Yahu, disclosed that the traders were ready to cooperate with government to relocate to the new site.
They, however, condemned the situation where some of their goods were destroyed by security agencies at the market.